SC judge sends Murdaugh’s alleged accomplice Curtis Smith to jail for breaking bond
A South Carolina judge on Thursday revoked bond for Curtis Eddie Smith, a distant cousin and alleged co-conspirator of Alex Murdaugh’s, sending Smith back to jail until trial.
Judge Clifton Newman revoked Smith’s bond after S.C. Attorney General prosecutor Creighton Waters told the judge that Smith was lying when he told the judge at a June bond hearing that he had no money.
“He said, ‘I ain’t got no money — twice,’” Waters said.
But in fact, on the day when Smith said that, he had some $58,000 in a bank account. And just a few weeks ago, he had $80,000 in a checking account, Waters said.
Moreover, Smith had strayed from the boundaries during his house arrest to places like Wal-Mart and “various private residences” where he was not supposed to be under the bond conditions, Waters said.
“I apologize for taking up your time,” Smith told the judge Thursday just before Newman sent him to jail.
Smith, 62, is accused of drug trafficking and running a longtime money laundering scheme that involved some 2.4 million in money allegedly stolen by Murdaugh.
Prosecutors described Smith’s crimes as engaging in a money laundering operation, whereby Murdaugh over the course of several years then gave Smith some $2.4 million in checks. many of which were converted to cash and given back to Murdaugh.
Much of that money went to buy drugs for Murdaugh, who remains in jail on a slew of financial-related charges and also weapons and murder charges in the June 2021 shooing deaths of his wife Maggie and son Paul.
Smith has denied the charges.
Last month, Smith was given a $250,000 surety bond, allowing him to stay out of jail. The bond required Smith to stay under house arrest except when away from home
Jarrett Bouchette, Smith’s lawyer, told the judge that Smith didn’t really misrepresent his financial situation, and that some recent money Smith had come into came from an insurance settlement.
“This is a man of limited means,” Bouchette said.
Smith has also been paying down debts with much of the money, Bouchette said, adding that Smith’s entire life savings is about $52,000.
“We certainly did not mean to imply or misrepresent anything to the court,” Bouchette said.
Newman told Bouchette Thursday that Smith “has an obligation to be candid with the court and not misrepresent anything to the court.”
Aimee Zmroczek, Smith’s other attorney, told the judge that some of the work that Smith does requires him to make deliveries and those were the houses he was going to. He went to Wal-Mart to get medicines, Zmroczek said.
“Since some of his work is not traditional work, there clearly needs to be more communication about where he’s going,” Zmroczek told the judge.
Zmroczek also said she and Bouchette had “a serious come-to-Jesus meeting” with Smith about where he can and cannot go and how he has to check in with authorities when he goes to unapproved places.
Smith suffers from serious medical conditions and they could get worse if he is put into jail, Zyrockzek said.
“A bond revocation at this point your honor would be harsh, a harsh punishment, for people who didn’t have a sufficient understanding (of the bond terms),” Zmroczek said.
This is a breaking news story and it is developing. It will be updated.