By LAUREN SILVER
HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (Court TV) — A grand jury has been empaneled as part of the investigation into Stephen Smith‘s death, months after renewed attention was focused on the case in the wake of Alex Murdaugh‘s murder trial.
Smith was 19 when he was found dead along a rural road in Hampton County, S.C. Despite initial reports that he was killed in a hit-and-run, investigative documents reviewed by Court TV revealed that his injuries were inconsistent with being hit by a car and that first responders on the scene actually believed that Smith had been the victim of a shooting.
In May, Eric Bland, the attorney representing Stephen Smith’s mother, Sandy, told Court TV’s Julie Grant that the investigation into the case had been moving forward and that warrants and subpoenas were being issued in the case. At the time, Bland said that investigators had been in contact with the South Carolina Attorney General, and that he believed a grand jury would be impaneled in the near future.
Bland confirmed to Court TV on Tuesday that a grand jury has been empaneled in the case.
The investigation into Smith’s death was reopened after the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) said that it uncovered evidence during the investigation into the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh. Alex Murdaugh was convicted of killing his wife and son and is serving a life sentence. Investigators have not said what the evidence is, or how the two cases might be linked.
Smith was known to be an acquaintance of Alex Murdaugh’s son, Buster. Buster has denied any involvement in Smith’s death.