Richard Vinson Merritt (Courtesy photo) Richard Vinson Merritt (Courtesy photo)

The U.S. Marshals Service is now offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the capture of a disbarred Georgia attorney officials believe killed his mother.

News outlets report the service announced the reward on Saturday and issued a gas station surveillance photo of 44-year-old Richard Merritt. The agency says Merritt could be anywhere in the country and should be considered armed and dangerous.

The U.S. Marshals Service said in a press release that, “On Feb. 2, Merritt’s elderly mother was found dead, having been violently killed. Her vehicle was missing and Merritt’s vehicle was recovered at the scene.”

Merritt admitted last month to settling some of his clients’ lawsuits without telling them and then using the settlements on personal expenses including vacations.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison but given until Feb. 1 to “get his affairs in order.”

Authorities say he didn’t surrender that day and instead removed his ankle monitor. His mother was found dead the next day.

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