Transcript for Nationwide manhunt for disbarred lawyer suspected of murder
Turning to an intense manhunt under way this morning for a disbarred attorney who police say killed his mother when he was supposed to be starting a prison sentence on other charges. With the suspect now on the run, the witnesses who testified against him during his trial are now saying they fear for their lives. ABC's erielle reshef is in the studio and on the story. Erielle, good morning. Reporter: Good morning to you, guys. It's the shocking case that has authorities now hunting for answers. A disbarred lawyer accused of brutally murdering his own mother before taking off. This morning, that nationwide manhunt for a disbarred lawyer turned fugitive accused of killing his own mother. Richard Merritt considered armed and dangerous. En here in an old commercial. Obviously my practice is very grass roots. Reporter: His brother speaking to ABC news overnight calling for Merrit himself in. Now you certainly need to be held accountable for the brutal murder of our mother. Reporter: The 44-year-old sentenced to 30 years behind bars after pleading guilty to stealing money from clients and elder abuse. Last Friday Merritt was supposed to turn himself in to a Georgia jail but instead -- At some point in that time frame he killed his mother and went on the run. Reporter: Authorities say Merritt fatally stabbed his own mother Shirley seen here in a memorial page cread by her family then allegedly cut off his ankle monitor and took off in her Lexus. And I want him to pay for what he's done. Reporter: Former clients like Tina sailor who testified against Merritt during his trial fearing possible retaliation telling ABC news his ankle monitor was in cartersville, Georgia, which is 15 minutes up the road from me. Right now we're all kind of scared. So far investigators say there is no evidence of a hit list. He could be anywhere. We thinke may be anywhere in the country. Reporter: Now his brother tells ABC news overnight Merritt should have never been given two weeks to report back to jail. He believes all could have been avoided and their mother may still be alive. Bizarre story. Erielle, thank you.
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