U.S. Marshals have released of new photo of a disbarred Georgia attorney who is wanted for murdering his mother a day after he failed to report to prison for defrauding clients of nearly $500,000.
The photo taken at an Atlanta-area gas station shows Richard Merritt without a goatee that he had previously worn. Marshals made the picture public Saturday night.
Marshals believe Merritt, 44, made his getaway in his mother’s 2009 silver Lexus RX350.
His brother urged Merritt to turn himself in to police in an interview Saturday with ABC News.
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“You need to face the consequences of the criminal behavior that you were sentenced for on the 18th of January and now you certainly need to be held accountable for the brutal murder of our mother,” Robert Merritt said.
Shirley Merritt, 77, was found stabbed to death Feb. 2 in Stone Mountain, Ga., where she lived with her son.
Merritt pleaded guilty Jan. 18 to the theft of nearly $500,000 in settlements he had obtained for clients in lawsuits, according to court records and a Fox 5 Atlanta report Sunday.
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He was ordered to serve a 15-year prison sentence, which was due to begin Feb. 1.
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Investigators said Merritt went on the lam after cutting off an ankle monitor he had been ordered to wear while out on bond in the case.