Disbarred attorney Richard V. Merritt, 44, who pleaded guilty to multiple felonies last month and was to report to jail Friday afternoon, is apparently on the run after his mother was found stabbed to death Saturday morning in Stone Mountain.
Shirley Merritt, 77, was found dead at her Planters Row home, which court filings indicate was used to secure Merritt’s $440,220 bond.
Merritt was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison and another 15 on probation after pleading guilty to 34 felony counts including theft, forgery, exploitation of an elderly person and bank account fraud on Jan. 22.
The nonnegotiated plea also required Merritt to repay $454,706 in restitution to 17 victims, whose civil cases Merritt settled while keeping the money for himself.
Merritt maintained an office in Smyrna prior to his indictment last year.
DeKalb County police have asked the public to be on the lookout for Shirley Merritt’s brown 2009 Lexus, bearing Georgia tag number CBV6004.
A DeKalb County homicide investigator on Monday said the investigation is ongoing and that there is little new to report.
A spokesperson for Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds, who prosecuted Merritt, said her agency and the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office also are assisting in the investigation.
Court records show that Merritt was to report to begin his sentence at 5 p.m. on Friday.
Merritt’s attorney, David Willingham of Marietta, declined to comment.