Buster Murdaugh’s Classmate Death Revisited

(Daily360.com) – The family of a 19-year old named Stephen Smith who was killed in an apparent hit-and-run accident in 2015 successfully petitioned the court to exhume his body for a second autopsy and further investigation. Smith was hit while walking along a road that had a steep curve to it that would make him hard for drivers to see and react to him if they were traveling at a moderately high rate of speed.

The autopsy report detailed that the only serious injury Smith suffered was to his skull and that resulted in his death. The pathologist, Dr. Michelle DuPre speculated that if the driver of the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed they may not have even been aware that they struck Smith and may have just assumed it was some kind of road debris.

One reason the family wanted another autopsy was the potential that Smith may have been specifically targeted. The family believes because Smith was openly homosexual, that may have led to an attack by someone. Some have speculated that Smith may have been hit with an object like a baseball bat from within the moving vehicle. The pathologist determined that to be highly unlikely as to do so on that bend in the road at a high speed would be next to impossible. Instead DuPre believes what struck Smith’s head was likely something attached to the vehicle like a ladder or extended mirror.

Adding an extra layer to this case is that the Smith family is connected to the family of notorious criminal financial swindler Alex Murdaugh. Sandy Smith said the same day that her son died she’d heard that Alex Murdaugh’s brother, Randy, had contacted her son’s father and offered to help their family pro-bono. Sandy also said she’d seen Alex and his son, who was a classmate of Stephen, standing near the spot where he was hit after the incident.

Randy Murdaugh has denied offering his services to family. He also said he’d heard about the death through Smith’s father, not vice versa and he said it was he who visited the crime scene with a private investigator to perhaps help law enforcement, not his brother Alex.

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