Curtis 'Eddie' Smith boasted to friends that cops 'wouldn't find anything' when they searched his home and appeared untroubled despite being told he was a suspect in the shooting of Alex Murdaugh, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Smith, 61, was arrested Tuesday and charged on multiple counts including conspiracy and assisted suicide for his role in the shooting after Murdaugh, 53, claimed to having staged the attack in a bid to secure a $10million life insurance windfall for his surviving son Richard Alexander 'Buster,' Murdaugh Jr, 25.
But, while neighbors expressed shock at this latest twist in the spiraling Murdaugh saga, one long-time acquaintance told DailyMail.com that Smith had been talking of his potential involvement in the crime when out in Walterboro last week.
According to Henry Vandermark, who has known the man he described as 'straight-dealing' and 'friendly,' for more than a decade, Smith was blasé when he told him that cops had visited his Walterboro home last week and informed him that he was a suspect in the bizarre roadside shooting.
Murdaugh shooting suspect Curtis Edward Smith, 61, is seen at his bond hearing Thursday morning at Hampton County Detention Center where his bail was set at $55,000
Smith appeared disheveled and disoriented in a beige prison jumpsuit as the judge broke down each of his charges
Alex's son Paul and wife Maggie (together center) were shot dead on June 7. Now police say that Alex Murdaugh (far right) orchestrated a separate shooting to kill himself with the help of a hitman, as part of plot for his other son Buster (far left) to collect a $10million life insurance payout
He said: 'He told me, 'the police have been round and told me I'm a suspect [in the Alex Murdaugh shooting] and wanted to search my house.'
'I said, 'Go ahead, you won't find anything.'
Smith, 61, was arrested and charged on Tuesday on multiple counts including assisted suicide and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud in connection with Alex Murdaugh's shooting
According to Vandermark, Smith didn't seem at all worried or concerned about the development. He said: 'It didn't seem to bother him at all.'
Despite Smith's admission, Vandermark said that he 'couldn't believe it' when he saw that his long-time acquaintance had been arrested Tuesday.
In fact, investigators had been closing in on the man whom Murdaugh hired to shoot him while attorneys for Murdaugh were still publicly peddling the tale of a random roadside ambush even offering more 'facts' given by their client in a bid to shore up his story.
Smith appeared disheveled and disoriented when he appeared for his bond hearing at Hampton County Detention Center, at 9am Thursday.
The judge broke down each of Smith's charges and set bail accordingly: on the charge of pointing a firearm at a person bond was set at $5,000; on the insurance and misrepresentation $10,000; on conspiracy, $5,000; on assisting a person committing suicide, $15,000 and on assault and battery bond was $20,000.
Smith signed his paperwork and said that he expected his bail bondsman to pay the $55,000 later this morning.
Smith rocked to and fro in his seat throughout the hearing and as he made to leave muttered: 'This is bogus. It's all bogus'
Murdaugh was changing the tire on his car on this rural road in Hampton County when someone shot him from a passing car on September 4, according to his attorney
He had rocked to and fro in his seat throughout the hearing and as he made to leave muttered: 'This is bogus. It's all bogus.'
Asked by the judge if he had anything else to say he remained silent.
Murdaugh is said to have called 911 from the side of Old Salkehatchie Road shortly after 1pm on Saturday, September 4.
By the time law enforcement arrived, he was already being transported to hospital in Savannah suffering from what South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has consistently described as a 'superficial' gunshot wound to the head.
Attorneys for Murdaugh have insisted that his injuries were far more serious, with lawyer Jim Griffin claiming that his client had 'an entry and exit wound…fractured skull and minor brain bleed.'
Multiple casings were found on the scene near the Mercedes SUV being driven by Murdaugh that day and once owned by his wife, Maggie.
Last week Griffin stated that Murdaugh had told him that somebody in a blue truck had passed by and turned back as he tried to fix a flat tire by the side of the road.
According to neighbors, Smith, from Walterboro, seemed unbothered after learning he was a suspect in the case when cops visited his home last week. Pictured: Curtis Edward Smith's home
Henry Vandermark, a friend of Smith, told DailyMail.com that the suspected hitman was blasé about the development and told cops 'Go ahead, you won't find anything'
Neighbors recalled seeing members of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) were 'crawling all over' Smith's property last week
On circling back, Murdaugh stated, the person rolled down their window and asked if he was having car trouble before opening fire.
Griffin also claimed that Murdaugh had worked with a SLED sketch artist to provide a sketch of the suspect, whom he did not admit to knowing, but the image was never released because investigators were not satisfied with it.
On Wednesday neighbors near Smith's home in Walterboro, South Carolina told DailyMail.com that as Griffin made his claims members of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) were 'crawling all over the place.'
One who asked not to be named recalled: 'There were cars all round there and members of SLED crawling all over the place last week.'
In fact, SLED executed multiple search warrants on Smith's home on September 7, just three