The same day he was meant to report to prison on financial crimes, authorities say Richard Merritt killed his mother, stole her car, and went on the run from police.
The defendant’s mother Shirley Merritt was found beaten and stabbed to death in her DeKalb County home on February 1, 2019, in the middle of, what police thought was supposed to be, her final meal with her son before he started serving his sentence. U.S. Marshals apprehended the defendant on September 30, 2019, in Tennessee where he was leading a new life as a bartender, equipped with a fake ID and going by the alias
Merritt, 49, is on trial for charges including two counts of felony murder and one count of malice murder, among others. The disbarred attorney pleaded guilty to stealing over $450,000 from 17 different clients in January 2019 and was set to spend 15 years in Cobb County Jail, where he is now serving out a 30-year sentence for defrauding his clients and violating the terms of his probation.
Merritt faces life in prison for his murder charges and has pleaded not guilty.
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