Prosecutors say that Curtis Edward Smith, alleged accomplice of disbarred South Carolina attorney Richard “Alex” Murdaugh, has violated conditions of his bond on multiple occasions, and on Thursday a judge revoked that bond and ordered him to jail.
The SC Attorney General’s Office, which is prosecuting all cases related to Murdaugh’s sweeping, five-county alleged crime spree, had requested the bond revocation hearing for Smith Thursday at 3 p.m. at the Richland County Courthouse in front of Judge Clifton Newman alleging that he misrepresented his financial information and violated his house arrest travel restrictions.
"Mr. Smith came to me from jail," said Judge Newman when making his ruling. "His bond is revoked and he is put back in jail."
Smith was led from the courtroom in handcuffs and is expected to be detained in the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County, where Murdaugh is also housed.
Smith, twice indicted in connection with Murdaugh, was out on a $250,000 bond that includes special conditions such as house arrest and GPS monitoring in relation to his latest arrest.
On Wednesday, the AG’s office filed the motion to revoke bond with the State Grand Jury of South Carolina for two types of violations:
The motion alleges that during his June 28 bond hearing before the State Grand Jury Presiding Judge, Smith made false representations to the court about his financial condition, saying, “I ain’t got no money,” quoted the filing. After further investigation, prosecutors learned that Smith had on June 3 received a $78,166.20 insurance settlement check and on the day of the bond hearing had $58,478.52 in his checking account.
The motion further alleges that between the dates of July 6 and July 20 Smith violated the terms of his house arrest 26 times. While the terms of his house arrest limited him to leaving his residence only to go to work, church, school, doctor appointments or attorney consultations, Smith visited a nearby ACE Hardware, Food Lion, Walmart (multiple visits), six private residences, the Fort Jackson military base in Columbia, and made multiple trips to Dorchester Biomass, an electrical energy company in Harleyville, S.C. The visits range in duration from 11 minutes to 79 minutes.
With these alleged violations, the state contends that Smith “poses a continuing threat to the community.”
Smith's legal team spoke at length in defense of their client, claiming that when Smith spoke of not having money it was meant in the context that he didn't have any of Murdaugh's stolen money, and was not referring to his personal income, which he was using to pay bills.
Smith's attorneys also claimed that most of the GPS locations Smith visited were work related for his trucking job, such as buying supplies for his truck, or medical related, such as filling prescriptions. One on occasion, he went to help his elderly father-in-law when the man was having health problems. They further claimed that their client didn't have a "full understanding" of his travel restrictions."
Smith also addressed the court and apologized: "I didn't understand what was going on and I apologize."
The bond restrictions were "not an advisory, but a hard and fast rule," said Creighton Waters, a chief prosecutor with the AG's Office.
After hearing from both legal teams, Newman stated that he believed Smith did misrepresent his finances and did "willfully" violat3e his house arrest.
On June 28, Smith, along with Murdaugh, was indicted by the State Grand Jury on conspiracy, money laundering, forgery and drug charges. Specifically, Smith was indicted for criminal conspiracy; four counts of money laundering value $100,000 or more; three counts of forgery; manufacturing, distribution or possession of narcotics (Schedule III); possession of a controlled substance (Schedule II); and simple possession of marijuana.
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Smith was previously indicted by a local grand jury for his alleged role in an assisted suicide/insurance fraud scheme in Hampton County over the 2021 Labor Day weekend.
Murdaugh is currently jailed in the Richland County Detention Center on 88 criminal charges, including murder charges for the June 7, 2021, shooting deaths of his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul, in Colleton County.
Judge Newman will also preside over Murdaugh's murder trial in Colleton County.
This article originally appeared on Greenville News: S.C. judge revokes bond for alleged Murdaugh accomplice, Curtis Smith