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Autopsy confirms woman was strangled

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

An autopsy has confirmed Alesha Caprice Merritt was strangled to death, Clayton County police said.

Merritt, 38, was found dead in her own bedroom, at her Riverdale home on Saturday morning. Her husband, Montay Lee Merritt, 33, reportedly called 911 reporting she was having a heart attack.

When medics arrived, they found Alesha Merritt cold and stiff, and police opened a death investigation.

Montay Merritt, also known as "Scarface," according to police, allegedly confessed to the killing in a text message sent to his sister-in-law.

"Monica, plz call me! I thk I killed Lisa [Alesha Merritt]. We argued last night. I choked hern she still on the floor naked. I haven't touched her though. Plz call me," the message read.

Officer Sonja Sanchez, department spokeswoman, said Montay Merritt admitted to sending the text messages, but denied choking his wife. When officers arrived, though, he admitted to being drunk the night before, and fighting with his wife about "impregnating another woman," according to the report filed by Officer T.A. Lewis.

Montay Merritt was arrested and charged with malice murder on Saturday evening. On Monday, a Georgia Bureau of Investigation autopsy confirmed Merritt's wife was strangled to death, and the manner of death was called "murder."

According to the arrest warrant, filed by Detective Scott Eskew, Montay Merritt, "with malice aforethought, did cause the death of Alesha Caprice Merritt, his wife and a human being, to wit: After an argument he did choke her by her neck until she was dead."

Montay Merritt is being held in the Clayton County jail without bond. His next court date has not yet been set.