The public is now demanding answers about the Murdaugh family’s alleged “long rumored involvement” in the suspicious death of Buster’s former classmate who was found dead on a road near their South Carolina estate.
Stephen Smith, 19, was found dead on July 8, 2015, in the middle of a country road 15 miles from the Murdaugh family hunting lodge in Islandton.
And now that patriarch Alex Murdaugh has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife Maggie, 52, and their son Paul, 22, there is a “great public outcry” to find out what happened to Smith.
Smith’s death was ruled a hit-and-run, but his mother Sandy has always maintained that her son, who was gay and a classmate of Murdaugh’s son Buster, was murdered and that there was a cover-up.
That’s what attorney Eric Bland said Fox news“There’s been a long rumor that a Murdaugh is involved – be it Buster or someone else in the family – who at least knows about Stephen Smith’s death.”
Attorney Eric Bland told Fox News: “There have long been rumors of the involvement of a Murdaugh – be it Buster or someone else in the family – who at least knows about Stephen Smith’s death.”
The public is now demanding answers about the Murdaugh family’s alleged “long rumored involvement” in the suspicious death of Buster’s former classmate who was found dead on a road near their South Carolina estate. Pictured: Buster at his father’s trial
Stephen Smith, 19, (pictured with his mother Sandy) was found dead on July 8, 2015 in the middle of a country road 15 miles from the Murdaugh family hunting lodge, Islandton.
Bland, who represented the two sons of Murdaugh’s late housekeeper Gloria Satterfield, who died in the family’s home in 2018, said investigators had initially said Smith had been hit by a car.
He said, “Stephen was found in the middle of a country road in Hampton County and the Highway Department said he was hit by a car.
“But there was no broken glass, no auto parts, his clothes were intact, his shoes were on, and he had obvious head trauma that looked like it was caused by something other than a car.”
Bland said that Stephen was gay and a good student, who wanted to go to college to become a nurse.
He added that investigators reopened Stephen’s case – as well as an investigation into the death of the family’s housekeeper Gloria Satterfield – in 2021 following the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh.
Investigators at the time said they reopened cases after discovering information in their investigation into the murders of Maggie and Paul. The detectives have not disclosed what information they discovered.
Bland said that now that Buster’s father Alex Murdaugh has been convicted of double murder, there is a public outcry to find out the truth behind Stephen’s death.
“There’s a big cry in South Carolina to find out what really happened to Stephen Smith,” Bland said.
Buster, Paul, Maggie and Alex Murdaugh at the Moselle estate in a photo uploaded to Maggie’s Facebook on the occasion of Father’s Day 2020
Alex Murdaugh was sentenced Friday to two consecutive life terms for the 2021 murder of his wife Maggie, 52, and youngest son Paul, 22
Sandy has alleged that Murdaugh’s brother Randolph, who is a lawyer, attended the scene of Stephen’s accident, Bland said.
“According to Sandy Smith, she got a call from him offering to represent her and she was very confused about why she would need representation,” Bland said.
Meanwhile, Bland said Buster is in a “very difficult” situation after his father was convicted of double murder.
Bland added, “Buster is in a very difficult place. He is a real victim here in terms of the murders of his mother and brother. And he essentially lost his father on Friday when he was sentenced to a double life in prison.
“Buster himself will have to face, ‘Is my father capable of killing my mother and brother?’ The jury has said so and he will have to look at his future in this family.’
And following Murdaugh’s conviction, the family’s connection between suspicious deaths in the area and questions about Smith’s death remains unclear.
“It’s peeling the onion . . . if you keep peeling it, you’ll find more,” Bland said.
On Friday, Murdaugh was sentenced to two consecutive life terms for the murder of his wife Maggie, 52, and son Paul, 22, in Moselle on June 7, 2021.
He will spend the next several weeks at the R&E facility, where he will undergo rigorous testing before being assigned to a permanent state prison. Because he is a double murderer, he will be housed with the most brutal and violent inmates in the state.
The life he faces is a far cry from the privileged world of multi-million dollar homes, from the coast to the hunting grounds of the Lowlands, to which he has grown accustomed in his 54 years.
Through more than 75 witnesses and nearly 800 pieces of evidence, jurors learned about betrayed friends and clients and Murdaugh’s failed attempt to fake his own death in an insurance fraud scheme.
Other scandals discussed at trial include a 2019 boating accident involving his late son Paul, which left 19-year-old Mallory Beach dead.
Paul faced criminal charges after being charged with operating the boat while intoxicated before being shot dead. The girl’s family sued Murdaugh for reportedly $30 million at the time of the Paul and Maggie murders.
Alex Murdaugh was escorted out of the courthouse to a waiting prison van to begin his life sentence on Friday
The death of his housekeeper Gloria Satterfield – who, according to the Murdaugh family, tripped over the dogs and fell down the stairs while working at their hunting lodge – was also raised during the case. Her son Tony called to testify on the stand about the $4 million wrongful death benefit that Murdaugh allegedly stole.
Meanwhile, prosecutors did not have the weapons used to kill Paul and Maggie or other direct evidence such as confessions or blood spatter.
But they had a mountain of circumstantial evidence, including the video that placed Murdaugh at the scene of the murders five minutes before his wife and son stopped using their cell phones forever.
The now disbarred lawyer admitted to stealing millions of dollars from the family business and clients and said he needed the money to fund his drug use.
Before being charged with murder, Murdaugh was in jail awaiting trial on about 100 other charges ranging from insurance fraud to tax evasion.
Defense attorneys said they will appeal, based largely on the judge allowing evidence of crimes Murdaugh was not convicted of, which they say tarnished his reputation.