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Prominent South Carolina attorney turns himself in to police

Prominent South Carolina attorney turns himself in to police
Prominent South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh turned himself over to authorities Thursday and will face a bond hearing in connection with a strange scheme to arrange his own murder so his son could collect on a $10 million insurance policy. File Photo by Simaah/Pixabay

Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Prominent South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh turned himself over to authorities Thursday and will face a bond hearing in connection with a strange scheme to arrange his own murder so his son could collect on a $10 million insurance policy.

In an added twist, Murdaugh's wife and another son were shot and killed three months earlier and police are investigating the murder of the family's housekeeper in 2018.

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Murdaugh suffered superficial wounds on Sept. 4 when he was shot in the head. A judge set bail for Curtis Edward Smith, 61, at $55,000 earlier Thursday. Police believe Smith was the person who shot Murdaugh in the bizarre suicide-for-hire plan.

Smith faces charges of assisted suicide, assault and battery of a high aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud, and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.

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Dick Harpootlian, one of Murdaugh's attorneys, said his client had been suffering from opioid addiction, became depressed and wanted to kill himself but believed his insurance policy would not pay out if he took his own life. That's when he supposedly hired Smith to kill him.

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The deaths of Murdaugh's wife and other son remain unsolved.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said Wednesday it has opened a criminal investigation into the 2018 death of Murdaugh's longtime housekeeper Gloria Satterfield.

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The agency said it opened the case "based upon a request from the Hampton County Coroner earlier today, as well as information gathered during the course of our other ongoing investigations involving Alex Murdaugh," according to USA Today.

Satterfield supposedly died from a fall but an autopsy was never done. Hampton County Coroner Angela Topper requested assistance in a wrongful death settlement case between Murdaugh and Satterfield's children.

Topper said Satterfield's injuries appear to be inconsistent with injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident.

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