Greenwood man pleads guilty to killing wife, setting house fire - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Greenwood man pleads guilty to killing wife, setting house ablaze

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Darrell Merritt (Source: Solicitor's Office) Darrell Merritt (Source: Solicitor's Office)
LAURENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A Greenwood man decided to plead guilty instead of going to trial next week, admitting to killing his wife then setting their home on fire, according to the solicitor's office.

Eighth Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo said Darrell Merritt, 55, was convicted of murder and arson, sentenced to 45 years in prison. He is not eligible for parole but faced life in prison prior to pleading, Stumbo said.

On Nov. 29, 2012, firefighters were called to a County Line Road home in Bradley for a fire alarm and discovered Lisa Jan Merritt, 46, dead.

The coroner said she was not severely burned by fire but died from two gunshot wounds to the head and chest.

Stumbo said Darrell Merritt shot his wife with a 12-gauge shotgun while she was in bed then set fire to the room before fleeing.

Darrell Merritt fled to Honea Path, disposing of the gun in the river off of Highway 252 and was arrested a short time later, Stumbo said.

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