Cobb District Attorney Holmes issues statement on the capture of Richard Merritt

photo of Cobb Superior Court building from the front with a blue sky with clouds in the background

Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes issued a statement on the capture of Richard Merritt, the disbarred attorney wanted in connection with the stabbing death of his mother in Stone Mountain.

Merritt was supposed to begin serving a sentence for theft and elder abuse on February 1, but instead allegedly removed his ankle bracelet monitor and fled.

The statement from D.A. Holmes is as follows:

I am grateful for the dedication of everyone who assisted in the eight-month-long search for Richard Vinson Merritt. Over these many months and particularly as the situation quickly evolved over the weekend, members of the Cobb District Attorney’s Office were integral in supporting the U.S. Marshals task force. I am also extremely thankful that no officers were injured while taking Mr. Merritt into custody in Tennessee.

Mr. Merritt was convicted in January 2019 of theft and elder-exploitation charges in Cobb County, and he was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison plus 15 more years on probation, with the condition that he turn himself in on Feb. 1, 2019, or the probated portion of the sentence would be revoked and he would be ordered to serve the full 30 years in custody.

As we all know, he did not turn himself in as ordered, and thus at some point he will be returned to Cobb for a hearing to revoke his probation.

Separately, Mr. Merritt has been formally charged with the murder of his mother, Shirley, in DeKalb County. It is a relief to know he is back in custody and I am confident that justice will ultimately prevail