GREENWOOD, SC – The Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting and arson that occurred on County Line Road early Thursday morning.
According to officials with the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to an ADT alarm call about a fire at 2215 County Line Road just before 2:30 a.m. Thursday morning. When they arrived, they observed smoke coming from the home. The fire department arrived shortly thereafter and forced entry into the home where they discovered a female, later identified as Lisa Jan Merritt, 46, lying face down in the bedroom floor. Merritt had been shot and had no pulse.
At about 4:00 a.m. Thursday morning, deputies were notified that a female was on the phone with dispatch saying she had Darell Anthony Merritt, 43, with her and that he stated that he had shot and killed his wife. Authorities from Greenwood County met authorities from Anderson County and picked up Darell Merritt. He is currently being held at the Greenwood County Detention Center.
Authorities believe that Darell Merritt shot his wife and then set the house on fire before fleeing to Anderson County to a family member’s house. Officials say that Darell Merritt has been cooperative during the investigation.
According to Greenwood County Coroner Jim Coursey, Lisa Merritt died as a result of the gunshot wounds she received. An autopsy was performed in Newberry Thursday morning.
Officials say that Darell Merritt will be charged with murder, arson and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Officials also say there could be other charges forthcoming related to the incident.
Bond on a crime that could result in a punishment of a life sentence or greater must be set by a circuit court judge according to South Carolina law. Darell Merritt is currently scheduled to appear before a judge during the term of court that starts December 12th.
SLED is assisting the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation.