Richard Merritt: 5 Quick Info You Have to Know
Richard Vinson Merritt, 44, is accused of stabbing his mom to dying on the day he was supposed to start a 15-year jail sentence on theft costs. Shirley Merritt, 77, was found useless inside her dwelling in Stone Mountain, Georgia, on Saturday, February 2, 2019.
Police in DeKalb County, Georgia, issued a warrant for Merritt’s arrest. It’s believed Merritt managed to free himself from an ankle monitor and fled in his mom’s automobile.
Right here’s what you’ll want to know.
1. Police: Merritt Could Be Driving a Brown Lexus With Georgia Plates
DeKalb police are asking the general public to be looking out for Richard Merritt. He’s about 5 toes, 10 inches tall and weighs roughly 175 kilos. He has brown hair and brown eyes. In his mugshot from the Cobb County Sheriff’s Workplace, Merritt had a goatee.
When police arrived at Shirley Merritt’s home, they found that her automotive was lacking. Officers imagine Merritt took the automobile, which is described as a brown Lexus RX350. The mannequin yr is 2009 with Georgia plate. The license plate quantity is CBV6004.
Anybody who spots Merritt or the automobile is requested to contact the DeKalb County Police Division at 770-724-7850. You may also go away an nameless tip with Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS(8477).
2. Report: Shirley Merritt Advised Her Son to Flip Himself In, In accordance with the Household Member Who Later Discovered Her Stabbed to Demise
A member of the family spoke with Shirley Merritt on the telephone shortly earlier than her dying. The Marietta Day by day Journal, citing the DeKalb police affidavit, reported that Richard Merritt’s cousin was driving to Stone Mountain from Alabama on February 2. He was going to take Merritt to the jail in Cobb County. Merritt was attributable to begin a 15-year jail sentence after pleading responsible to costs together with theft and forgery (extra on that under).
The cousin, whose identify was not launched, known as 911 after arriving on the home after discovering Shirley on the backside of the steps within the basement. She had stab wounds on her facet. In accordance with the report, detectives discovered what a steak knife deal with laying subsequent to her.
Merritt’s cousin advised police that he had spoken with Shirley about 90 minutes earlier than discovering her physique. She had allegedly advised him that “every part was advantageous.” She was additionally reportedly speaking to Merritt about surrendering to police. We now have reached out to the DeKalb police about acquiring a duplicate of the police report.
3. Richard Merritt, a Former Lawyer, Pleaded Responsible in January 2019 to Stealing Cash From His Shoppers
Richard Merritt was indicted in 2018 on a number of costs in Cobb County Superior Courtroom. Merritt labored as an lawyer and was accused of stealing from 17 of his shoppers.
Prosecutors stated Merritt would inform his shoppers that their instances had been ongoing. However in actuality, he settled their instances and pocketed the settlements. A grand jury indicted Merrit on 34 counts together with Theft By Taking, Forgery within the First Diploma, Forgery within the Third Diploma, and Elder Exploitation.
Merritt pleaded responsible to the fees in January 2019. You may see his signature within the doc embedded above, in addition to the entire costs listed out.
Cobb Superior Courtroom Decide Robert Flournoy III ordered Merritt to spend 15 years behind bars, adopted by one other 15 years on probation. He was additionally ordered to pay greater than $450,000 in restitution.
Merritt didn’t report on to jail. He requested the decide to permit him a number of days to “get his affairs so as.” The decide agreed and advised him to give up by 5 p.m. on February 1, 2019. However Merritt didn’t adjust to that order; as defined above, his cousin was going to drive him to jail on February 2.
4. Richard Merritt Was Stripped of His Authorized License in January of 2018
Richard Merritt was admitted to the bar in 2000 and ran his personal personal apply in Smyrna, Georgia. However he was stripped of his license in January of 2018 by the Supreme Courtroom of Georgia. That doc is embedded above.
Merritt admitted to the court docket that he had stolen settlement cash from a shopper. He had settled her private harm lawsuit for $75,000 “however did not promptly disburse these funds to his shopper or her medical suppliers and did not render a full accounting of the funds to his shopper.”
Merritt voluntarily surrendered his authorized license as a result of he acknowledged that the foundations he had damaged “can be tantamount to disbarment” anyway.
5. Merritt Reportedly Used His Consumer’s Stolen Cash to Go on Holidays & a Sports activities Automobile
Richard Merritt needed to face his former shoppers when he pleaded responsible in court docket to the theft costs. A reporter from Fox affiliate WAGA-TV was within the courtroom as Merritt apologized and admitted: “There’s no excuse for my conduct.”
His former shoppers advised the TV station that they only wished to see Merritt go to jail, expressing skepticism that Merritt would be capable to pay the restitution anyway.
Throughout the time-frame wherein Merritt admitted to stealing from his shoppers, he used the cash to go on holidays, attend skilled sporting occasions and bought a Porsche.