Wife charged with killing attorney husband maintains she is innocent

Wife accused of killing prominent attorney, maintains her innocence

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — A woman accused of shooting her husband, an Atlanta attorney,  and burning his remains in a wooded area on their property, made her first court appearance Friday.

Channel 2 Action News reported 59-year-old Melody Farris was arrested in Tennessee on Tuesday and charged with malice murder, aggravated assault and concealing a body. She was extradited to Georgia this week.

Channel 2's Lauren Pozen was in the courtroom when Farris appeared with a chain across her waist and shackles on her feet.

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Farris waived the right to have the charges read to her and let her attorney, Michael Ray, do most of the talking.

"It is like someone in shock," Ray said. 'She is just very quiet. If you could hear during the hearing, she is very soft-spoken. She is just in shock right now. She is being held for the first time."

Pozen requested the warrants in the case to learn more about what led up to her arrest.

Investigators said in the report that Farris acted intentionally with malice when she shot her husband multiple times with a 380-caliber gun.

They accused her of burning her husband's body so it would make it hard to determine whether he was murdered.

We're hearing from her attorney, for Channel 2 Action News at 4 p.m.


Farris' son found the remains in July 2018 in Cherokee County but the badly charred remains were difficult to identify.

The remains were later identified as that of 58-year-old Gary Farris, the founder of the Atlanta office for the regional law firm Burr & Forman. Police say the couple had marital issues.

The condition of the body, detectives say, delayed the investigation.

“The body was severely burned, which creates challenges not only for the investigators who are attempting to locate evidence, but also for the crime scene techs, as well as the crime lab who are performing the autopsy,” Jay Baker with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office said.

"She has declared her innocence to these charges absolutely," Farris' lawyer said. "She is looking forward to being in court hearing the evidence against her, because she hasn't heard anything yet, other than being arrested earlier this week."

The next step is a preliminary hearing next week. That's when prosecutors will show all the evidence they have in the case to the judge.

The judge will decide whether there is enough evidence for the case to continue to trial.