Alex Murdaugh grimaces as the process hears his bizarre 911 call after being shot in the head in a botched killer plot

A visibly uneasy Alex Murdaugh grimaced as prosecutors played his 911 call after he was shot in a botched assisted suicide.

On the nineteenth day of Mr. Murdaugh’s trial, jurors heard a bizarre phone call he made to 911 dispatchers shortly after he was shot in the head at the side of the road in Hampton County in September 2021. The shooting took place nearly three months after his son Paul and the murders of Mrs. Maggie Murdaugh, whom Mr. Murdaugh is now accused of using to distract from his many financial and legal troubles.

Mr Murdaugh initially claimed he was mugged in a drive-by shooting while changing a tire on his vehicle, but soon afterwards admitted conspiring to pay a hitman to shoot him so his surviving son Buster could have one lucky break would inherit $10 million in life insurance.

“I have a flat tire. Someone stopped to help me and when I turned around they tried to shoot me,” Murdaugh said in the audio file played in court on Thursday.

The disgraced legal heir said he “bled profusely” but remained alert and was even able to describe the weapon he believed was used in his attack and the putative make of his attacker’s vehicle. Prosecutors described his injury as a “superficial gunshot wound to the head.”

“It sounded like a shotgun. It was so loud. It didn’t sound like a .22,” Mr. Murdaugh said.

During questioning by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) Senior Special Agent Ryan Kelly from his hospital bed, Mr. Murdaugh also helped create a sketch of the alleged shooter. Just a week later, Mr Murdaugh confessed to law enforcement that he orchestrated the whole saga.

He told investigators he paid Curtis “Eddie” Smith — a former law firm client, distant cousin and allegedly his drug dealer — to conduct the shooting. Mr Murdaugh said he provided the gun used by Smith.

Mr Murdaugh’s confession was heard by the court on Thursday. Speaking to SLED agents and his lawyers, Mr Murdaugh told authorities he planned the plot because he believed his family would be “better off without him”.

Alex Murdaugh worked with an artist to create this sketch of the non-existent man he claimed shot in a botched killer plot

(Colleton District Court)

Agent Kelly testified that he found no debris that could have caused Mr Murduagh’s vehicle tire to go flat. Instead, investigators responding to the scene found a knife across the street and found that the car’s rear tire had been cut open.

The now-excluded lawyer is said to have contacted Smith from the hospital while his accounts were linked to deposits made to the alleged roadside shooter, Mr Kelly testified.

Mr Murdaugh also described the suspect as a white male aged 30 to 40 with close-cropped hair and facial hair. In reality, Mr. Smith is in his early 60s.

During the phone call with Mr Kelly, his lawyers made it clear they did not want to discuss the Paul and Maggie shooting or Mr Murdaugh’s personal finances.

Mr Murdaugh reportedly told Mr Kelly that the Hampton County shooting was not related to the murders of his son and wife in their Islandton hunting state, before admitting to the roadside shooting, Mr Kelly told the court.

This photo, provided by the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, shows Curtis Edward Smith

(Colleton County Sheriff’s Office)

Mr Murdaugh also offered no explanation as to why he was not direct about his motivations when first interviewed.

“I was in a very bad place. I thought it would be better for me not to be here anymore. I thought it would be easier for my family to be dead,” he said in a taped interview with Mr. Kelly. “…I don’t have a good reason. I was in a bad, bad, bad place.”

Mr Murdaugh was also heard telling Mr Kelly that his original version of the story was mostly correct, save for the very important detail “that it was arranged by me”.

Mr Murdaugh has claimed he did not kill Paul and Maggie and pleaded not guilty last June.

The trial for the double murders in Walterboro, South Carolina, is now in its fourth week. It’s far from Mr Murdaugh’s only legal issue. In addition to the case, Mr Murdaugh faces at least 100 other criminal charges over a range of financial fraud allegations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *