Curtis Smith, alleged accomplice of Alex Murdaugh, released from jail after judge reinstates his bond

Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 8:12 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A South Carolina judge has reinstated bond for Curtis “Eddie” Smith, an alleged accomplice of convicted killer Alex Murdaugh.

He faces charges stemming from his accused involvement in Murdaugh’s failed suicide-for-hire plot on Labor Day weekend of 2021, along with several money laundering charges in connection with some of Murdaugh’s alleged financial crimes.

RELATED COVERAGE: State enters evidence in Murdaugh murder trial of defendant lying about September 2021 roadside shooting

In June 2022, the South Carolina Grand Jury indicted him on four counts of money laundering, three counts of forgery, trafficking methamphetamine 10-28 grams, one count of unlawful possession of a schedule II narcotic and possession of marijuana and two counts of criminal conspiracy.

Judge Clifton Newman set his previous bond at $250,000 but revoked it a few months later.

Newman said Monday at the Richland County Courthouse that Smith must adhere to the same conditions that were in place prior to his bond being revoked.

He will be placed on house arrest, have GPS monitoring and will undergo regular drug testing.

Smith will be allowed to go to work and church, however.

“There must be strict compliance with it,” Newman said. “No deviation, no leniency, no latitude in any way.”

Smith, a distant cousin of Murdaugh’s acknowledged the seriousness of that order.

“I understand the significance of these cases as tied in with Alex Murdaugh, and I totally understand the importance of the letter of my bond,” he said.

Smith’s bond was previously revoked because Newman ruled that he had lied about how much money he had, and he had violated the terms of his house arrest.

“He’s looking forward to getting out, he is understanding his need to follow the letter of the court’s order as opposed to maybe the general intent,” Jarrett Bouchette, Smith’s defense attorney, told reporters after the hearing. “We’re confident that he’s going to do that, and confident we’re going to be prepared to defend the remainder of the charges and decide what the state wants to do, and in what order the state wants to do, or the court wants to do for that matter.”

Smith’s lawyers requested the bond reconsideration hearing.

State prosecutor John Meadors agreed with the defense’s position, citing Smith’s cooperation throughout the murder investigation of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh.

“Obviously, your honor, in revoking his bond, did the right thing,” he said. “There’s no question about that. And I am certainly not questioning that. Since that time, in my involvement with Mr. Zelenka, he has cooperated completely, and we are asking your honor to take that into consideration.”

Meadors said Smith was prepared to testify in the Murdaugh murder trial.

RELATED COVERAGE: Alex Murdaugh sentenced to life in prison, lawyers plan to appeal

“Based upon my years of experience, I think he would have testified truthfully,” he said.

Smith had been in jail for 235 days. He has gained 55 pounds due to lack of exercise and said he has not been able to get the medical treatment he needs.

Bouchette believes his client will be vindicated as more evidence is revealed.

“As we’ve seen, as this last year to two years played out, a lot of things have changed, and a lot of the evidence has come to light so we think that’s going to continue to happen over the next six months to a year,” he said.

The next hearing for an update on Smith’s case will be on April 21 in Hampton County.

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