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Riverdale man suspected of killing wife

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

Clayton County police suspect a man strangled his wife to death in a drunken argument over infidelity.

Montay Lee Merritt, a 33-year-old Riverdale man, called 911 on Saturday morning to report that his wife was dead, but allegedly said it was due to a heart attack.

When medics arrived at the couple's 7772 Green Valley Lane home, they found 38-year-old Alesha "Lisa" Merritt was cold and stiff to the touch, according to police reports. She was lying on the floor, face-down and naked, with her arms tucked under her body.

Montay Merritt allegedly told Officer T.A. Lewis he saw his wife on the floor when he woke up, but "didn't think anything about it."

According to Lewis, Montay Merritt said they were out drinking Friday night, and then "had gotten into a verbal argument about him impregnating another woman." Merritt allegedly said they went to sleep at about 11 p.m., and then, when he woke up, his wife was on the floor and she wasn't breathing.

Lisa Merritt's sister, Monica Edwards, interrupted her brother-in-law, though, saying, "Tell him what happened," "Tell him what you did," and "Tell him that you choked her."

Edwards told police her brother-in-law confessed in a text message. According to a police report, Montay Merritt texted his sister-in-law at 6:40 a.m., with the message, "Monica, plz call me! I thk I killed Lisa. We argued last night. I choked hern she still on the floor naked. I haven't touched her though. Plz call me."

Edwards said she showed up at the Riverdale house and demanded that Montay Merritt call the police.

One of the other residents of the house, identified by police only as "P. Hall," allegedly told the officers "that on many occasions, she heard Mr. Merritt state to the victim that he was going to kill her in her sleep."

Lisa Merritt's medical history, provided by family members, included "high blood pressure" and "depression due to her marriage."

Montay Merritt was arrested Saturday evening and is facing a charge of murder.