Fraud lawyer now hunted in slay of mom

New York Daily News - - NEWS - BY DAVID BOROFF

A mas­sive search is un­der­way for a con­victed for­mer Ge­or­gia lawyer who au­thor­i­ties say killed his mother and re­moved his an­kle bracelet.

Richard Mer­ritt, a dis­barred at­tor­ney, was ex­pected to sur­ren­der Feb. 1 in Cobb County af­ter he was con­victed of steal­ing money from clients and el­der abuse. Mer­ritt, 44, was sen­tenced to 30 years be­hind bars.

His mother, Shirley Mer­ritt, was found stabbed to death Feb. 2, and her ve­hi­cle re­ported miss­ing.

“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,” brother Robert Mer­ritt told ABC News on Satur­day.

The U.S. Mar­shals Ser­vice said in a press re­lease that Mer­ritt (photo far right) may be driv­ing a sil­ver Lexus RX 350 with the li­cense plate CBV 6004. The ser­vice re­leased a photo of Mer­ritt that was taken at a gas sta­tion af­ter he re­moved his an­kle mon­i­tor.

He may have shaved his head or oth­er­wise changed his ap­pear­ance and “should be con­sid­ered armed and dan­ger­ous.”

“He prob­a­bly knows people all over the coun­try, be­ing a lawyer,” U.S. Mar­shal Frank Lempka said. “He could be any­where. We think he may be any­where in the coun­try.”

Lempka warned that the fugi­tive’s be­hav­ior is “very un­pre­dictable.”

“He could hurt or kill some­one else at this point,” he said.

A $5,000 re­ward is be­ing of­fered for leads re­lated to Mer­ritt’s where­abouts.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion should con­tact the U.S. Mar­shals Ser­vice at (877) Wanted-2.

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