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US lawyer arranged own death for $14m insurance claim, but the shooter missed (Picture)

  A prominent lawyer in the US state of South Carolina,  who found the bodies of his wife and son  three months ago, tried to arrange his ow...


Alex Murdaugh tried to arrange his own death so his son would get a huge insurance payout, but the shooter missed.

A prominent lawyer in the US state of South Carolina, who found the bodies of his wife and son three months ago, tried to arrange his own death earlier this month, so his son would get a US$10 million (NZ$14m) life insurance payment, but the planned fatal shot only grazed his head, local police say.

The shooter, Curtis Edward Smith, was charged with assisted suicide, insurance fraud and several other counts in the September 4 shooting of Alex Murdaugh on a lonely highway in Hampton County in the US, the State Law Enforcement Division said.

Murdaugh was not charged Tuesday night (local time), but agents said more charges were expected.

Murdaugh gave Smith the gun to kill him, and he followed Murdaugh to Old Salkehatchie Road in South Carolina, firing one shot at the lawyer as he stood in the road, an agent said in a sworn statement.

Murdaugh announced two days after the shooting he was going into rehab for an opioid addiction. He apologised to his family and said he was leaving his law firm.

“The murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life. I have made a lot of decisions that I truly regret," Murdaugh said without going into details.

A few hours later, the PMPED Law Firm announced Murdaugh had taken money from the business and was fired from the firm. The amount of money has not been announced.

Along with the killings of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh and the shooting of Alex Murdaugh, the State Law Enforcement Division is also investigating the missing money, whether anyone tried to obstruct an investigation into a 2019 boat crash which Paul Murdaugh was eventually charged and a July 2015 hit-and-run death in Hampton County.

Murdaugh's father, grandfather and great-grandfather all held the office of solicitor in the area for more than 80 years and other family members were prominent civil attorneys in the local region.

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