Nationwide manhunt continues for lawyer accused of killing his mother


Thank you very much. We'll move to a nationwide manhunt

to a fugitive former lawyer who is accused of killing

his own mother. U.S. Marshals releasing a new picture of

the man who went on the run when he was

supposed to be starting a lengthy prison sentence. ABC's erielle

reshef is here. Good morning to you. Reporter: Good morning

to you guys. This is a shocking case. The D.A.

Says after he was convicted of a crime, he lived

with his mother without incident for a year. She even

posted bond for him, but just before he was due

to turn himself into jail, he fled, allegedly killing her

and taking off in her car. This morning, this surveil

image, a new clue in the nationwide manhunt for a

disbarred Georgia attorney now considered an armed and dangerous killer.

He's very dangerous at this T. Reporter: U.S. Mahals say

the photo snapped at a gas station near Atlanta shows

Richard just after he cut off his ankle monitor. Authorities

say he then fatally stabbed his own mother, stealing her

Lexus and taking off. Once you kill anyone, it's easier

for you to kill someone else, especially if you kill

your own mother. Reporter: The 44-year-old, convicted in January of

stealing from clients and elder abuse, sentenced to 15 years

behind bars, ordered to report to jail February 1st. I

understand what I have done is morally reprehensible. It's very

criminal. Reporter: But he didn't show. Instead, sparking a desperate

multistate search. Merritt's brother telling ABC news he should never

have been allowed to post bond. The decision to give

Richard two more weeks, it really doesn't make sense because

he was a flight risk. Reporter: Urging him to turn

himself in. You certainly need to be held accountable for

the brutal murder of our mother. Reporter: A former client

who testified against Merritt, now angered and terrorized by his

disappearance, wishing to remainanfor safety. I'm very angry and very

sad for Mrs. Merritt and this is very surreal to

me. I'm angry at Cobb county for letting him out

and putting us all in this situation. Reporter: Overnight, his

defense attorney offering thoughts and prayers to the entire family

writing in a statement, for an entire year, my client

was out on bail. Not once did he hint he

would run from justice, much less show any signs that

he was capable of such heinous violence. The Cobb county

D.A. Says because Merritt had been convicted of a nonviolent

crime, he was allowed to wear an ankle monitor and

turn himself in and says there was no evidence to

suggest he would become violent. Merritt's brother also tells ABC

news there were no warning signs he would manifest this

type of anger. It's really strange. Absolutely. And disturbing. Erielle

reshef, thank you.

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