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South Carolina man charged with assisted suicide in shooting of Alex Murdaugh

A South Carolina man has been arrested on charges of assisted suicide and fraud in the shooting of lawyer Alex Murdaugh earlier this month, authorities said Tuesday.

Curtis Edward Smith, 61, was arrested in connection with the Sept. 4 shooting, which Murdaugh survived, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said in a statement.

Murdaugh told 911 that he was shot in the head while changing a flat tire, police have said.

The state law enforcement division has said that Murdaugh suffered a “superficial” gunshot wound to the head.

The shooting happened almost three months after Murdaugh’s wife and adult son were found fatally shot on the family’s property in rural Islandton on June 7.

Margaret and Paul Murdaugh’s bodies were found June 7 near dog kennels on the family’s hunting property in Colleton County, west of Charleston. They had been shot to death.

Their deaths have been classified by state investigators as a double homicide.

Murdaugh, 53, who is part of a prominent South Carolina legal family, has not been charged with any crime.

Smith was charged with assisted suicide, assault and battery of a high aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud, and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, the law enforcement division, SLED, said Tuesday night.

It said that Smith, of Colleton County, was also arrested on charges of distribution of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana and that additional charges were expected.

Smith was being held in jail Tuesday night, officials said. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.

Days after the Sept. 4 shooting, Murdaugh said in a statement that he was resigned from his job at a law firm to enter rehab. He said he “made a lot of decisions that I truly regret” and that the murders of his wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult period

The law firm said that Murdaugh only resigned after the partners discovered he had allegedly misappropriated funds. On Monday, South Carolina law officials announced that it was looking into accusations that Murdaugh “misappropriated” money from the firm.

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