Law firm says SLED now considers Stephen Smith’s death a homicide

Stephen Smith
Stephen Smith(Standing for Stephen)
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 9:29 PM EDT
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HAMPTON COUNTY, Sc. (WTOC) - The law firm representing the family of Stephen Smith says the South Carolina Law Enforcement is now considering the death of Stephen Smith a homicide.

19-year-old Smith died in July of 2015 in a presumed hit-and-run along Sandy Run Road in Hampton County.

According to SLED, the investigation into his death was reopened in June 2021 due to evidence found during the investigation into the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh.

On Tuesday, Bland Richter Law Firm released a statement saying they received this announcement during a phone call with South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel.

“SLED officials have revealed that they did not need to exhume Stephen Smith’s body to convince them that his death was a homicide. However, they will be present and participate in any exhumation of Stephen’s body to gather more evidence. We are committed to finding out what really happened, and getting the peace and justice the Smith family deserves” said Eric Bland and Ronnie Richter in a joint statement.

The law firm also said that SLED was waiting until the murder trial of Alex Murdaugh was over before making this announcement out of concern that witnesses would not be as forthcoming.

This comes just after Stephen’s mom, Sandy Smith, was joined by attorneys Eric Bland and Ronnie Richter in a news conference on Monday.

You can read the full statement from the Bland Richter Law Firm here.

You can view a timeline of the Stephen Smith case below: