Darrell Merritt appears in a Greenwood County courtroom for a bond hearing. (Nov. 29, 2012/FOX Carolina)
GREENWOOD, SC (FOX Carolina) -
A Greenwood County man who is accused of killing his wife and then setting fire to their home was denied bond during a hearing Thursday afternoon.
Deputy Coroner Marcia Kelly-Clark said Lisa Jan Merritt, 46, of Bradley, SC, was found dead inside a County Line Road home about 2:22 a.m. Deputies said an alarm went off inside the home, notifying firefighters.
Kelly-Clark said firefighters responded to the house fire where they found Merritt, but she was not severely burned by fire and died from two gunshot wounds to the head and chest.
The fire appeared to start in the bedroom and is being investigating by the State Law Enforcement Division, Kelly-Clark said.
Greenwood County deputies said they were called in to investigate once Merritt's body was found by firefighters. Deputies said Merritt's husband, 53-year-old Darrell Merritt, fled to a family member's home in Anderson County, telling them what he had done.
Darrell Merritt's family called deputies and arranged for him to turn himself in, investigators said. They said Darrell Merritt turned himself in about 4 a.m. at the Spinx station on East Grier Street in Honea Path, and he has been cooperative since he was taken into custody.
According to the incident report, Darrell Merritt told his family he killed his wife and threw the shotgun out his car's window along Highway 252 near Austin Road in Anderson County. Deputies said they were searching a swampy area near there but had not yet located the gun.
Deputies said they believe Darrell Merritt set the fire as well, and he faces charges of murder, third-degree arson and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
"I am sorry for what I did," Darrell Merritt said during his bond hearing.
FOX Carolina spoke with Lisa Merritt's uncle, James Christian, in Bradley on Thursday, who said she was married for 10 years and had no children. He said she was a loving person who never met a stranger.
"We're wondering why this happened," Christian said. "We do not understand it all. But hopefully in the process of the investigation, what happened will come to light. Or at least something to give us something, an answer, because right now we don't have one."
An autopsy will be performed Thursday.
Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
The valley is preparing to say its final goodbyes to a fallen Phoenix police officer. Visitation was held Friday night for Officer Daryl Raetz - with a steady stream of his family, friends and colleagues.More >
Visitation was held Friday night for Officer Daryl Raetz - with a steady stream of his family, friends and colleagues - ahead of Saturday's funeral.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 12:39 PM EDT2013-05-23 16:39:28 GMT
Dan Marco's son was murdered in 2010. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Only people who have lost a close loved one can understand the pain of Travis Alexander's family"My heart goes out to them, because I understand," says Dan Marco, who's son Zachary was murdered in 2010.ZacharyMore >
Only people who have lost a close loved one can understand the pain of Travis Alexander's family.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 4:19 PM EDT2013-05-24 20:19:28 GMT
The Young and the Restless is airing a special tribute episode to the late Jeanne Cooper on Tuesday, May 28 at 11 a.m. MST. Cast members and friends of Cooper recently gathered on set to shoot a celebrationMore >
The Young and the Restless is airing a special tribute episode to the late Jeanne Cooper on Tuesday, May 28 at 11 a.m. MST.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:43 AM EDT2013-05-23 15:43:24 GMT
Fallen officer's daughter graduates from kindergarten
Hundreds of Phoenix police officers showed their support for a fallen colleague by attending his daughter's kindergarten graduation in Anthem on Wednesday. Officer Daryl Raetz was killed in the lineMore >
Tatum Raetz, 5, graduated from kindergarten in Anthem Wednesday and hundreds of uniformed Phoenix police officers were there to show their support for the family.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 10:40 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:40:59 GMT
Closed iBeach Tan location in Gilbert.
Tracy Grogitsky purchased two memberships to the iBeach Tan salon in Gilbert just a few weeks ago. She said one was for a gift for her friends. Thursday, she went to the location to tan. "I thought, 'Oh,More >
Two local tanning salons closed without notice, and customers say they're not getting any refunds. More >
Friday, May 24 2013 12:29 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:29:51 GMT
Every week, CBS 5 News is sent a list of restaurants that have been recently inspected by Maricopa County's Environmental Services Department. CBS 5 News selects five restaurants with some of the highestMore >
Every week, CBS 5 News is sent a list of restaurants that have been recently inspected by Maricopa County's Environmental Services Department.More >