A South Carolina lawyer hired a hitman to arrange his own murder so his living son could get a $10 million life insurance payout, police say

South Carolina State House.
A South Carolina lawyer announced he is resigning from his law firm after being shot in the head. Jeffrey Collins/AP
  • The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) said this week that Alex Murdaugh hired a man to shoot him in the head earlier this month.
  • SLED said Murdaugh, who survived the botched shooting, hired the man so his living son could get a $US10 ($AU14) million life insurance payout.
  • Murdaugh’s wife and other son were shot and killed earlier this year and their murders are still unsolved.
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Alex Murdaugh, the prominent South Carolina lawyer whose wife and son were shot to death in June, tried to arrange his own murder so his living son could get a $US10 ($AU14) million life insurance payment, state police said in a report released on Tuesday.

The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is now investigating Alex Murdaugh and has charged Curtis Edward Smith, the man accused of shooting Alex Murdaugh, with assisted suicide, insurance fraud, and other counts.

Alex Murdaugh, who resigned from his law firm and said he would check into rehab earlier this month, has not been charged.

Police say he was shot on September 4 in Hampton County, South Carolina, and taken to a nearby hospital with a superficial gunshot wound.

In a sworn statement seen by Insider, a SLED agent said Murdaugh gave Smith a gun to kill him, but the bullet only grazed his head.

State agents said Murdaugh admitted to police that he had tried to stage his own death and that he had hired Smith to kill him so his surviving son could collect a $US10 ($AU14) million life insurance.

The deaths of Murdaugh’s wife and son, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh and 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh, are still unsolved.

Alex Murdaugh discovered their bodies on the family’s hunting property in June.

Their deaths were reported days before Paul Murdaugh was set to stand trial in the death of a 19-year-old woman, who was killed in 2019 in a boat crash during which Paul Murdaugh was driving and they were both intoxicated, police said.