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Buster Murdaugh Says He Wasn't Involved in Gay Student's Death

Buster Murdaugh Says He Wasn't Involved in Gay Student's Death

Stephen Smith and Buster Murdaugh

The son of convicted killer Alex Murdaugh has made his first public statement about rumors linking him to gay acquaintance Stephen Smith's death.

Buster Murdaugh, the son of convicted killer Alex Murdaugh, has made his first public statement on the death of gay classmate Stephen Smith, saying he was not in a relationship with Smith and had nothing to do with his death.

“These baseless rumors of my involvement with Stephen and his death are false,” Buster Murdaugh said in a statement released Monday, BuzzFeed News reports. “I unequivocally deny any involvement in his death, and my heart goes out to the Smith family.”

“I have tried my best to ignore the vicious rumors about my involvement in Stephen Smith’s tragic death that continue to be published in the media as I grieve over the brutal murders of my mother and brother. I love them so much and miss them terribly,” he added.

Alex Murdaugh, a prominent lawyer in South Carolina, was convicted this month of murdering his wife, Margaret, and younger son, Paul, in 2021. The elder Murdaugh has been sentenced to life in prison but plans to appeal the conviction.

Buster Murdaugh has attracted notoriety because of the rumors about him and Smith. Smith died in 2015 at age 19. His body was found on a rural road in South Carolina, and police initially thought he was killed in a hit-and-run accident. But “there was little evidence of a crash, fueling suspicions his body had been dumped there,” BuzzFeed reports. Blunt force trauma was ruled the cause of death.

Smith “had told his sister that he’d been quietly seeing another young man whose identity would shock many people in the conservative area,” BuzzFeed notes. That has led to rumors linking him to Buster Murdaugh.

Smith’s mother announced last week that she was having his body exhumed so an independent autopsy can be conducted. At a news conference Monday, a reporter asked Ronnie Richter, one of the mother’s lawyers, about Murdaugh’s statement.

“We’ve not mentioned Buster’s name one time. This is not about Buster Murdaugh, so this is about Stephen Smith,” Richter said, according to NBC News. “There’s no reason to discuss Buster Murdaugh, and there’s no comment to make back to Buster Murdaugh."

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