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Former Georgia Attorney Admits He Killed His Mother Over 'Worst Drug There Is: The Green Money'

former georgia attorney life in prison killing mother
Source: U.S. Marshals Service; Unsplash

Jun. 2 2023, Published 11:32 a.m. ET

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A former Georgia attorney was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder of his mother in 2019, which happened to be the same day he was supposed to turn himself in to prison on unrelated charges.

On May 24, Richard Merritt was convicted of murder, two counts of felony murder, aggravated assault – family violence, aggravated assault, and possession of firearm or knife during the commission of or attempt to commit certain crimes in connection with the stabbing death of his mother, Shirley Merritt.

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On Feb. 1, 2019, Merritt was supposed to turn himself in to the Cobb County Jail to start his 15-year sentence for theft, forgery and elder exploitation, WXIA-TV reported.

He didn’t turn himself in, but instead fatally stabbed his 77-year-old mother in her DeKalb County home then cut off his ankle monitor and fled to Nashville. Shirley was found dead the following day, authorities said.

On Sept. 30, 2019, Merritt was arrested by the U.S. Marshals in Tennessee, where he was living under a new name.

During his trial, Merritt testified saying two men knocked on the door and they held him and his mother at gunpoint.

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Merritt testified, "That monster took a dumbbell and bludgeoned my mother in front of me. The other one came back with a kitchen knife and stabbed my mom in front of me," WAGA-TV reported.

After he was convicted, Merritt confessed, "I was raised right by two beautiful people and I had a beautiful wife and children. The world was our oyster, and I blew it over the worst drug there is: the green money. I made a lot of bad choices and decisions," according to WAGA-TV.

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