Sandy Smith has established a scholarship fund as she waits for justice in her son’s 2015 murder. 

“It came to be through the generous people of the GoFundMe”

Stephen Smith was discovered deceased in the early morning hours of July 8, 2015 on Sandy Run Road in Hampton, South Carolina. His death was initially ruled to be a hit and run despite the fact that his only injury was a wound to the back of his head. 

The SC State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) reopened the case in June 2021, and Sandy led a fundraising effort earlier this year to fund an independent exhumation and investigation into Stephen’s death. That fundraising effort netted more than $130,000 to pay for the immense expenses needed to properly examine and return Stephen plus fund a $30,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Stephen’s killer(s). 

The independent autopsy was conducted in April 2023 and as the Smith family waits on updates from SLED for developments in the case, Sandy is announcing a scholarship in Stephen’s name

The Stephen Nicholas Smith Memorial Scholarship was established in partnership from the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry in loving memory of Stephen Nicholas Smith by his family and friends. The mission of the Stephen Nicholas Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund is to provide annual scholarship support for qualified students with financial need who are in pursuit of a post-secondary education, with a preference for the field of Nursing.

“It is to help young people who want to go to college but doesn’t really have the means and struggle like Stephen struggled,” Sandy explained on CourtTV as she announced the scholarship fund. 

“Stephen struggled mainly with the workbooks and the scrubs,” she continued. “I feel like that’s what Stephen would want us to do is to help others.” 

At the time of his death, Stephen was studying to become a nurse and eventually hoped to become a doctor. 

The $30,000 reward is still active. If you have any information about Stephen’s death, you can call email [email protected] or call 803-737-9000. 

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Beth Braden

Beth Braden is an award-winning journalist whose mastery of the deep dive is evident in her work.

In addition to Braden’s experience writing about local government, crime and courts, and engaging features from her home state of Tennessee, her byline appears on several internationally-known websites. She is passionate about communicating complex information in an easy-to-understand manner and loves to pore over public records.

Braden joined Luna Shark Media in 2023 armed with a love of truth as she seeks out data from the darkest places, drags it into the light, and provides illuminating analysis. In her spare time, she enjoys quilting, strange museums, and good cups of coffee.