Cherokee County

Wife arrested, charged in death of prominent Atlanta attorney

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — The wife of a prominent Atlanta attorney found dead at a Cherokee County property has been charged  with murdering him.

In 2018, the body of Gary Farris was found in a wooded area behind a house on Purcell Lane.

After months of testing, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation determined Farris was killed by a gunshot.

Farris’ wife, Melody Farris, 59, of Alpharetta, was arrested in Tulahoma, Tennessee Tuesday night. She is charged with murder with malice, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and concealing the death of another.

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She will be brought to Cherokee County within 72 hours in a prisoner transport van.

Detectives believe Melody Farris shot and killed her husband inside their home and then tried to dispose of his body and evidence by burning it on their property.

"The body was severely burned, and when someone burns a body, it’s going to remove evidence that might have been in the body, and so it does pose challenges, and there are other evidence that needs to be collected,” said Cherokee County Sheriff’s Capt. Jay Baker. “I will say that a .38-caliber bullet was removed from the remains, that’s one of the ways we knew he had been shot.”


Investigators won't elaborate on a motive but did say the couple had problems in their marriage.

“We all have martial issues, but most of us, if you can’t resolve it you, get divorced. You don’t kill your spouse,” said Ben Kushner, whose property backs up the Farris' million-dollar estate in Cherokee County. “It is shocking. It is sad. They’ve got children and I know the son too and it’s really been devastating for them.”

Although Kushner said he knew the Farris' son, he didn't know the victim's wife.

“I don’t think anyone knew his wife. Apparently, his wife did not get out much. No one really seemed to know her,” Kushner said.

Right now, Melody Farris is the only suspect.

“She is entitled to due process, so we will have to wait and see how that turns out,” Kushner said.

When Melody Farris gets to metro Atlanta, she will be booked and then will have a first appearance before a judge. She is not expected to get bond.

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