Accused Alex Murdaugh shooter calls case ‘crap’ at hearing

VARNVILLE, SC — The 61-year-old Hampton County man charged with the allegedly staged attempted suicide shooting of Alex Murdaugh appeared at a bail hearing Thursday alternately shaking, sobbing and rocking as he sat before the judge.

“This is all crap,” Curtis Edward Smith said at one point. The brief morning hearing was held in a courtroom at the Hampton County Sheriff’s Department in rural Varnville, South Carolina, about 70 miles from Charleston.

Smith is a former client of Murdaugh’s law firm and an alleged drug dealer. Murdaugh recently said a 20-year addiction to opioids drove him to hatch his own killing.

His wife, Maggie, and 22-year-old son, Paul, were shot dead at a family home in June.

Smith’s involvement in the bizarre saga of the Murdaugh case, so far at least, is confined to the shooting incident Sept. 4 on a rural road near Hampton, South Carolina, where Alex Murdaugh told police someone shot him while he was stopped to fix a tire.

Murdaugh surrendered to authorities Thursday and will be arraigned later in the day for allegedly trying to commit insurance fraud in collusion with Smith.

Curtis Edward Smith attends the bail hearing Thursday in South Carolina.
Dana Kennedy

Smith arrived in foot and wrist shackles, his blond hair matted to his head. He was unsteady on his feet and had to be helped to his seat by two sheriff’s deputies. He rocked back in his chair and continually tapped his feet, clad in black sandals and dirty white socks, throughout the hearing, occasionally making grunting noises.

Smith lowers his head while seated at the bail hearing. “This is all crap,”  he said while alternately shaking, sobbing and rocking.
Smith lowers his head while seated at the bail hearing. “This is all crap,” he said while alternately shaking, sobbing and rocking.
Dana Kennedy

Smith has been charged with assisted suicide, assault and battery of a high aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, distribution of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.

His bond was set at $55,000.

This photo provided by Hampton County Detention Center shows Alex Murdaugh,  Murdaugh surrendered on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021.
This photo provided by Hampton County Detention Center shows Alex Murdaugh, Murdaugh surrendered on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021.
AP

Earlier this week, Murdaugh told cops that he told Smith to kill him so his surviving son, Buster, would collect his $10 million life insurance policy.

Alex Murdaugh is a part of at least two other state investigations.

An unsteady Smith arrived in foot and wrist shackles, his blond hair matted to his head.
An unsteady Smith arrived in foot and wrist shackles, his blond hair matted to his head.
Dana Kennedy

Shortly after he resigned from Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick on Sept. 6, the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division announced it was investigating allegations that Murdaugh stole money from his high-powered law firm.

Earlier Wednesday, the same agency opened a probe into the death of the Murdaughs’ longtime housekeeper Gloria Satterfield.

Satterfield, 57, died in February 2018 after “a trip and fall accident” in the family’s home, according to a new lawsuit filed by the housekeeper’s children.

More than three years later, “the exact details of the fall remain unclear,” even to the housekeeper’s sons and heirs, a Hampton County lawsuit seeking unspecified damages said.

The Murdaughs — from left, Buster, Maggie, Paul and Alex — are shown in a photo from Facebook.
The Murdaughs — (from left) Buster, Maggie, Paul and Alex — are shown in a photo from Facebook.
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Fort Hood Shooter Congratulates Taliban from Prison in Handwritten Letter: ‘We Have Won!!!’

For those who want to know what the symbolic value of our collapse in Afghanistan means to all the wrong parties, one needs only to look at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

The USDB is the military’s only maximum-security facility, housing the worst of the worst enlisted offenders. On the bottom of this heap is arguably Nidal Hasan, the Islamic terrorist who murdered 13 people, including a pregnant woman, and wounded over 30 more during a 2009 attack at Fort Hood, Texas.

Hasan, who was paralyzed in the attack, is on death row at Leavenworth. He’s still alive, though, and still keeping abreast of current events — and he’s pleased with what’s happening in Afghanistan.

In a handwritten letter passed to his attorney and obtained by Fox News and the Washington Examiner, Hasan elatedly welcomed the Taliban government, exclaiming, “We Have Won!!!”

“All-Praises be to All-Mighty Allah! Congratulations on your victory over those who hate for the Laws of All-Mighty God to be supreme on the land,” Hasan wrote in the letter, which he asked his attorney to pass to Taliban leadership.

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“I pray to Allah that He helps you implement Shariah Law fully, correctly, and fairly,” he added.

“We must learn from the nations of the past and not let our wretchedness overcome us thus earning His (God’s) wrath,” the letter continued. “It is to All-Mighty God we give thanks!”

It’s worth noting Hasan wasn’t radicalized by the Taliban, but instead by the American-born, al-Qaida-affiliated imam Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a 2011 airstrike in Yemen. However, it’s yet another case where we must pause and take note of the political and humanitarian disaster that’s taken place in Afghanistan — if just because of those who are openly cheering the Taliban’s swift seizure of the benighted country.

“The letter from my client Major Nidal Hasan does not come as any surprise — it reflects the deeply held convictions he has for his Islamic faith and his perceived value of Sharia Law,” Hasan’s lawyer, retired Army Col. John Galligan, told Fox News on Wednesday.

Is Joe Biden responsible for the fall of Afghanistan?

“I believe he is pleased to see that the Biden Administration is now seemingly willing to engage with the Taliban as de facto government in Afghanistan.”

Galligan also acidly noted that the surprise shouldn’t be Hasan’s opinions, but President Joe Biden’s, instead.

“While Major Hasan has not changed his opinions about the Taliban, it would appear President Biden has done a complete about-face,” Galligan said.

Typically, that kind of statement would force us to conclude only that an odious man has apparently found himself an odious lawyer. The problem is that what Galligan said, vile though it indeed may be in spirit, isn’t wrong in fact.

In July, while announcing the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan, Biden was asked by reporters whether he trusted the Taliban. “You — is that a serious question?” Biden said in response, according to a White House transcript.

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BLM Kicked Out of Kabul: Taliban to Cover George Floyd Mural

When asked why: “It’s a — it’s a silly question. Do I trust the Taliban? No. But I trust the capacity of the Afghan military, who is better trained, better equipped, and more — more competent in terms of conducting war.”

Whether or not he believed the second part of that statement when it was uttered on July 8, that’s between him and God. The first part has been proved wrong time and time again.

He trusted the Taliban to help with the U.S. withdrawal process — so much so that, according to Politico, U.S. officials in Afghanistan gave the terrorist organization a list of American citizens, Afghan allies and green card holders they wanted to evacuate. We’re now talking about what it would take for us to recognize the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan.

“There is no rush to recognition. It is really going to be dependent on what steps the Taliban takes,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday, according to a transcript of her remarks.

“The world will be watching — the United States included — and they will be watching whether they allow for American citizens and citizens of other countries to depart, whether they allow individuals who want to leave the country to leave, whether they allow for humanitarian assistance to travel, how they treat women and girls around the country.”

Meanwhile, Hasan joins a litany of American enemies celebrating the Biden administration’s failures in Afghanistan.

Al-Qaida was already celebrating Taliban victory before it happened; in April, two members of the terrorist organization told CNN “[t]he Americans are now defeated,” and that the U.S. “war in Afghanistan played [a] key role in hitting US economy.”

They also praised the Taliban for keeping the fight against the United States going. “Thanks to Afghans for the protection of comrades-in-arms, many such jihadi fronts have been successfully operating in different parts of the Islamic world for a long time,” a spokesman said.

China is loving it, too. Chief Beijing English-language propaganda mill Global Times ran numerous pieces on the Afghan disaster, including one warning Taiwan that the same fate was awaiting it if it counted on the United States for protection.

China’s envoy to the United Nations Human Rights Council, Chen Xu, also told the body the United States had committed human rights abuses in the country.

“Under the banner of democracy and human rights, the U.S. and other countries carry out military interventions in other sovereign states and impose their own model on countries with vastly different history and culture,” he said.

China wasn’t the only country blaming this on perfidious democracy.

“It is necessary to stop the irresponsible policy of imposing other people’s values from outside, the desire to build democracy in other countries, not taking into account either historical, national or religious characteristics, and completely ignoring the traditions by which people live,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in August, The Washington Post reported.

Al-Qaida, China, Russia and now one of America’s most infamous terrorists all have one thing in common: They’ve all been cheered by the Biden administration’s failure in Afghanistan.

These are the consequences of a geopolitical disaster — consequences the president can’t run from when our enemies have been given cause to celebrate.

Tags:

Afghanistan, al-Qaida, Biden administration, death, Fort Hood shooting, Islamic Terrorism, Joe Biden, mass shooting, murder, shooting, Taliban, Terrorism, world news

C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.

C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).

Birthplace

Morristown, New Jersey

Education

Catholic University of America

Languages Spoken

English, Spanish

Topics of Expertise

American Politics, World Politics, Culture



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Fort Hood shooter congratulates Taliban for Afghanistan victory. Lawyer says killer is happy Biden capitulated to and is working with group that shielded al Qaeda.

Former Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Islamic radical who murdered 13 people and wounded more than 30 at Fort Hood in 2009, is now celebrating the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan after President Joe Biden’s botched pullout of U.S. forces and lauding the opportunity to install Sharia law in the region.

In a letter obtained by the Washington Examiner, the man who called himself a “soldier of Allah” and shouted “Allahu Akbar!” while murdering fellow troops and currently sits behind bars on death row at Fort Leavenworth, declared “We Have Won” and congratulated Taliban leaders for their victory after 20 years of American and international forces keeping the organization out of power following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

What did the letter say?

Hasan — whose horrific actions the Obama administration refused to treat as an act of terrorism and instead infamously called “workplace violence” — sent his letter to his attorney, retired Army Col. John Galligan, on Aug. 18 with instructions for the lawyer to “communicate to the Taliban an leadership” a personal message.

“All Praises be to All-Mighty Allah!” Hasan began in his love note to the Taliban, extolling the greatness of their re-taking of control in Afghanistan.

His celebration was not solely because fellow Muslim radicals were in charge, but also because he saw the Taliban victory as another chance for Sharia law to get a foothold.

“Congratulations on your victory over those who hate for the Laws of All-Mighty God to be supreme on the land,” he wrote. “I pray to Allah that He helps you implement Shariah Law fully, correctly, and fairly.”

“We must learn from the nations of the past and not let our wretchedness overcome us thus earning His (God’s) wrath. It is to All-Mighty God we give thanks,” Hasan concluded.

Galligan, the Examiner reported, said that he was “not at all surprised” by Hasan’s statement, since the convicted killer has “always been consistent in the terms of his support for the governments to be rooted upon Sharia law.”

“Given the Taliban victory in Afghanistan and President Biden’s apparent capitulation on many fronts, Nidal Hasan and I are anxious to see what, if any, action will be taken with respect to the individuals still incarcerated at Guantanamo,” Galligan said, according to the Examiner.

The attorney echoed those sentiments in a statement to Fox News, adding that Hasan “is pleased to see that the Biden Administration is now seemingly willing to engage with the Taliban as de facto government in Afghanistan.”





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“We Have Won!!” – Fort Hood Shooter and Islamic Terrorist Nidal Hasan Congratulates Taliban From Fort Leavenworth Prison




“We Have Won!!” – Fort Hood Shooter and Islamic Terrorist Nidal Hasan Congratulates Taliban From Fort Leavenworth Prison



















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Prosecutors seek death penalty for Georgia spa mass shooter

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the man accused of murdering eight people in the Atlanta massage spa shooting spree.

Robert Aaron Long, 22, has already pleaded guilty to killing four people at Young’s Asian Massage parlor in Cherokee County on March 16.

He is also accused of murdering four more in two Atlanta spas later that same day.

Long was scheduled to be arraigned on Monday in Fulton County on the four Atlanta slayings before it was postponed until late next month.

In that case, Long is facing charges of murder, aggravated assault and domestic terrorism.

Prosecutors in the Atlanta proceedings told Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville on Monday that they had already filed paperwork to seek the death penalty.

The prosecutors said they were seeking the death penalty after characterizing the mass shooting as a hate crime based on race or gender.

Six of the eight victims were Asian women. All four women killed in Atlanta were Asian.

Friends and family of the Atlanta spa shooting victims at Long’s hearing at the Fulton County Courthouse on August 30, 2021.
AP

Long, who was sporting short hair instead of the mohawk he wore last time he faced court, mostly sat in silence during the brief hearing.

He quietly responded “Yes, sir” when the judge asked if he understood the proceedings.

Long accepted a plea deal last month in the Cherokee County proceedings in exchange for four life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Prosecutors in that case had planned to seek the death penalty if he did not plead guilty. 

Those killed in the Cherokee County spa included Paul Michels, 54, Xiaojie “Emily” Tan, 49, Daoyou Feng, 44, and Delaina Yaun, 33.

Suncha Kim, 69, Soon Chung Park, 74, Hyun Jung Grant, 51, and Yong Ae Yue, 63, were killed in the Atlanta massage parlors.

Robert Aaron Long will be facing the death penalty for allegedly murdering four people in spas in Fulton County, Georgia.
Robert Aaron Long will be facing the death penalty for allegedly murdering four people in spas in Fulton County, Georgia.
Crisp County Sheriff’s Office via Getty Images

The mass shooting sparked fear and outrage among Asian Americans amid a wave of anti-Asian bias and violence across the US during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During his Cherokee County hearing, Long told the court he’d planned to kill himself that day and went to the massage businesses thinking that paying for sex — which he considered hateful — would push him to do it.

He detailed how he bought a 9mm handgun and a bottle of bourbon on the way. Long said he drank in the parking lot of the spa for about an hour — and in his drunken rage, decided to blame the spa workers for his twisted perversions and kill them instead.

With Post wires



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Jonathan Turley Calls out Concerning Comments by Ashli Babbitt’s Shooter – RedState

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley is raising questions about the shooting of Ashli Babbitt and making some of the same points that I made after I saw the interview on Thursday that Lt. Michael Byrd gave to NBC’s Lester Holt.

The media has largely ignored the questions about the propriety of the shooting, because they were against Babbitt’s political beliefs. But the same standards of whether an officer is justified when shooting should apply whoever the person shot is — be they Trump supporter or BLM person.

Just as an aside, I can’t recall even one BLM/Antifa person shot by a police officer in response to all the horribly violent things they did over the past year. As Turley points out, not one other officer who was present fired on any of the other rioters during the Capitol riot, despite other circumstances in which some were, in fact, attacked by rioters.

The question should be: is the person a threat justifying the use of deadly force? You don’t get to shoot someone for being an unarmed trespasser during a riot. In the case of Babbitt, she was unarmed, as far as we know, hadn’t attacked anyone, was standing outside the door with multiple other officers, who she had not attacked or hurt. She was climbing through a window when she was shot, not physically threatening Byrd or others.

Turley notes how the DOJ review was not saying that Byrd was clearly justified. Instead, it was saying he didn’t have a “bad purpose” behind his actions.

From The Hill:

I have long expressed doubt over the Babbitt shooting, which directly contradicted standards on the use of lethal force by law enforcement. But what was breathtaking about Byrd’s interview was that he confirmed the worst suspicions about the shooting and raised serious questions over the incident reviews by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and, most recently, the Capitol Police. [….]

At the time, some of us familiar with the rules governing police use of force raised concerns over the shooting. Those concerns were heightened by the DOJ’s bizarre review and report, which stated the governing standards but then seemed to brush them aside to clear Byrd.

The DOJ report did not read like any post-shooting review I have read as a criminal defense attorney or law professor. The DOJ statement notably does not say that the shooting was clearly justified. Instead, it stressed that “prosecutors would have to prove not only that the officer used force that was constitutionally unreasonable, but that the officer did so ‘willfully.’” It seemed simply to shrug and say that the DOJ did not believe it could prove “a bad purpose to disregard the law” and that “evidence that an officer acted out of fear, mistake, panic, misperception, negligence, or even poor judgment cannot establish the high level of intent.”

Translation: even if it was fear and poor judgement, too bad; they’re not going to go after him.

Byrd spoke to Holt after the internal reviews indicated that no one would be pursuing charges against him.

Turley continues:

Byrd described how he was “trapped” with other officers as “the chants got louder” with what “sounded like hundreds of people outside of that door.” He said he yelled for all of the protesters to stop: “I tried to wait as long as I could. I hoped and prayed no one tried to enter through those doors. But their failure to comply required me to take the appropriate action to save the lives of members of Congress and myself and my fellow officers.”

Byrd could just as well have hit the officers behind Babbitt, who was shot while struggling to squeeze through the window.

Of all of the lines from Byrd, this one stands out: “I could not fully see her hands or what was in the backpack or what the intentions are.” So, Byrd admitted he did not see a weapon or an immediate threat from Babbitt beyond her trying to enter through the window. Nevertheless, Byrd boasted, “I know that day I saved countless lives.” He ignored that Babbitt was the one person killed during the riot. (Two protesters died of natural causes and a third from an amphetamine overdose; one police officer died the next day from natural causes, and four officers have committed suicide since then.) No other officers facing similar threats shot anyone in any other part of the Capitol, even those who were attacked by rioters armed with clubs or other objects.

Additionally, as I previously reported, Byrd admitted he didn’t know whether she was armed or not, and that not being armed wouldn’t change his actions. That was a pretty stunning comment. So, he isn’t even arguing he shot her because he thought she was armed or could have been armed. Plus, as I previously said, there were tactical officers right behind Babbitt who had just come up the stairs, who likely were coming to replace the Capitol Police officers who had been in front of the door.

So no, Byrd didn’t even have to shoot her, since those officers would have been there to defend the floor literally within a second. He didn’t really “save lives,” since she didn’t appear to be threatening anyone, but he did take one. As a 28-year officer, is there no other way he’s learned to stop a small, unarmed woman trespasser — other than shooting her?

This interview really did him no favors, even if he thinks he is in the clear from any prosecution.

This is also an officer who has a bit of a history: leaving his service gun in a bathroom in the Capitol Visitor Center. It was later found by a security sweep later night, as Politico reported.

Byrd at the time said that with his rank as a lieutenant and his role as commander of the House chambers section, he told his colleagues that he expected to “be treated differently” in terms of consequences. Byrd did remain on the job in the days after his weapon was discovered.

Turley makes another point which is rather important, not just for this matter, but as a general point for the future.

If the DOJ and the Capitol Police are saying he was justified in shooting an unarmed trespasser, then are they saying that all the other unarmed trespassers who were there could just be shot as well, even without physically threatening an officer? That’s the logical extension of that conclusion — and that’s pretty troubling.





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VIDEO: Shooter opens fire on Miami Beach vacationer trying to protect his 1-year-old son, dances over dead body

A Georgia man is accused of shooting and killing a Miami Beach tourist while at a restaurant, according to a report from the New York Post.

The suspect, 22-year-old Tamarius Blair Davis of Norcross, Georgia, then reportedly danced over the victim’s body in plain view of other patrons.

Davis is believed to have been under the influence of psychedelic mushrooms when he opened fire on 21-year-old Dustin Wakefield of Castle Rock, Colorado, at close range.

What are the details?

The incident took place at La Cerveceria de Barrio on Miami Beach’s Ocean Drive on Tuesday night.

“This guy came in with a gun, waving it, saying, ‘It’s time to die.’ He pointed the gun at his son and Dustin said, ‘He’s only a boy,'” the victim’s uncle, Mike Wakefield, recalled. “Dustin stood up between the gunman and the baby and he shot him. He shot him multiple times on the ground.”

Police soon responded to the scene for calls of shots fired and reportedly discovered an armed Davis attempting to open a locked door. He was taken into custody without incident.

Authorities believe the attack on Wakefield, father of a 1-year-old son who witnessed his father’s execution, was random.

Davis reportedly confessed to police that he killed Wakefield, saying that being high on the psychedelic made him feel “empowered.”

Witnesses to the shocking crime say that Davis was smiling and laughing throughout the attack.

Gunfire was also said to have struck another customer, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to the report.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Davis’ father Tommy said that his son did not have a history of criminal activity, nor did he suffer from mental health issues.

“You think you know your kid but you don’t,” he told the news agency. “It is possible someone gave him something. That is something we need to find out.”

Davis faces charges of second-degree murder and attempted murder. He is being held without bond at the Miami-Dade County Jail.

The victim’s uncle said that his nephew, who worked in construction, was “the kindest kid.”

“He loved his family,” he added. “He loved being a dad.”





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Shooter opened fire on Miami Beach tourist, danced over body

A Georgia man “randomly” shot and killed a tourist dining outside with his family in Miami Beach, then danced over the body, cops and a witness at the disturbing scene said.

Tamarius David, 22, of Norcross, Georgia, allegedly opened fire on Dustin Wakefield, 21, from close range as he was eating in the outdoor section of La Cerveceria de Barrio on Miami Beach’s famous Ocean Drive on Tuesday night, CBS Miami reported.

“After the shooting, he was dancing on top of the guy,” a witness, who didn’t want to be identified, told the news station.

Wakefield, who was on vacation from Castlerock, Colorado, attempted to protect his 1-year-old son before he was shot multiple times, his family told the Miami Herald.

“This guy came in with a gun waving it, saying ‘It’s time to die.’ He pointed the gun at his son and Dustin said, ‘He’s only a boy,’” his uncle, Mike Wakefield, told the newspaper.

Tamarius David confessed to police about the shooting, saying he was high on mushrooms and it made him feel “empowered.”
Miami Beach Police

“Dustin stood up between the gunman and the baby and he shot him. He shot him multiple times on the ground.”

The gunfire also struck another customer, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Authorities have not released the identity of the second victim.

Police responded to 911 calls about the shooter and found David trying to open a locked door while holding a firearm, CBS Miami reported.

Footage showed David in an alleyway next to the scene, yelling, “I did it. I did it,” the Miami Herald reported.

Officers ordered him to drop the weapon and he complied, then was taken into custody.

Scene of Miami shooting.
The gunfire also struck another customer, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
CBSMiami
The suspect, Tamarius David, faces murder charges.

David — who is referred to as David Tamarius Blair Jr. in some reports — allegedly confessed to “randomly” shooting the two patrons, telling authorities that he “was high on mushrooms, which made him feel empowered,” police said.

He faces charges of second-degree murder with a weapon and attempted murder.

David was being held without bond Wednesday at the Miami-Dade County Jail.



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