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COURT UPDATES: Disgraced attorney Richard Merritt on trial for mother’s murder


Opening statements began Thursday morning in the disgraced lawyer murder trial. Richard Merritt is on trial for the murder of his 77-year-old mother Shirley Merritt. The state was able to get through seven witnesses on their first day of trial. Court will resume Friday morning at 9 a.m.

The Case:

Richard Merritt, a disgraced lawyer, is a accused of killing his mother on the day he was supposed to report to prison for financial crimes in February 2019. Prosecutors believe Merritt brutally stabbed 77-year-old Shirley Merritt while she was cooking him what was supposed to be his last meal before he went off to prison.

Richard Merritt

Richard allegedly stabbed Shirley multiple times in the back and face — the force of the stabbings was so large that the handle of the knife he was using broke off. Investigators also found a 35 pound dumbbell with hair and blood on it that Richard allegedly used to beat Shirley’s head in.

Right after the murder, Richard took off to Tennessee where he lived under a new alias. He got a job at a bar, started online dating, and met a new girlfriend. Eight months later, US Marshals caught up with Richard and arrested him for the horrifying crime.

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