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Who killed Alex Murdaugh’s wife, son? His attorneys are looking at potential suspects

The Charlotte Observer logo The Charlotte Observer 9/16/2021 Maayan Schechter, The Charlotte Observer

Outside of the state’s own investigation, attorney Dick Harpootlian said this week he and partner Jim Griffin are looking into possible suspects who may have played a role in the grisly deaths of their client Alex Murdaugh’s wife and son.

Harpootlian told NBC News’ Today Show host Craig Melvin Wednesday that his client did not kill his wife, Maggie, and 22-year-old son Paul, and they’re “working on individuals” who might “have some culpability or know who did it.”

“We are not law enforcement,” said Harpootlian, a state senator. “We don’t have their tools. But we think we will know this week whether the one suspect we are looking at bears further scrutiny. We will make that information available to law enforcement.”

The motive, he told Melvin, “would be personal.”

Asked Thursday to elaborate, Harpootlian reiterated his Wednesday comments to The State.

Police responded to the Murdaugh’s Colleton County estate on June 7, where they discovered Murdaugh’s wife and son shot to death. But months later, and despite issuing a statement soon after that the community wasn’t in danger, no one has been arrested or named a possible suspect.

Video: South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh shot months after wife, son murdered (NBC News)


The Murdaugh family has continued to grip national and international headlines, as recently as this week.

Earlier this month, Murdaugh, 53, was airlifted to a hospital after police said he was shot in the head with a superficial wound. Early statements from lawyers said that Murdaugh had been changing a tire on a rural Hampton County road, when someone shot him and drove off.

That story was ultimately a lie and retracted by Murdaugh, through his attorneys.

Instead, Murdaugh — who was staying at an out-of-state detox facility after reporting a drug addiction — told investigators this week that he hired a former client to kill him in order to collect a $10 million insurance policy for his sole surviving son, Buster.

Murdaugh has since left the detox facility and voluntarily surrendered to police Thursday after police obtained an arrest warrant to charge him with conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, his lawyer said.

The failed shooter, 61-year-old Curtis Edward Smith of Walterboro, has since been arrested and issued a $55,000 total bond.

John Monk contributed to this report.


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