• 'He's on the burn pile.' Grisly new details revealed in Atlanta attorney's death

    By: Lauren Pozen

    Updated:

    CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. - The wife of a high-profile Atlanta attorney found dead was in court Friday where new grisly details emerged about her husband's death. 

    Melody Farris is accused of killing her husband, Gary Farris, and burning his remains in a wooded area on their property in Cherokee County in 2018. She was arrested last month in Tennessee

    Farris maintains that she is innocent. 

    Channel 2's Lauren Pozen was in the Cherokee County courtroom Friday when Farris walked inside wearing an orange jumpsuit with chains across her waist. Pozen said Farris showed no emotion. 

    Detectives testified that Farris was having an affair when she shot her husband of nearly 40 years multiple times at their multi-million dollar estate on Purcell Lane last July. 

    His burned body was found on the property.

    Detective Daniel Hayes took the stand Friday and said Farris and her husband lived in the same house but in different wings. 

    Hayes said Farris was having a long-term affair with a man in Tennessee and that the two would meet halfway -- in Dalton -- to see each other. 

    Hayes told the court that Farris called her boyfriend the night the victim was killed and told him disturbing details.  

    "He stated that Melanie had made the statement to him, ‘He is on the burn pile.’" Hayes said. "Rusty said in response, he said, ‘What?!' She again said, 'He is on the  burn pile.'"

    Hayes also testified that the victim's blood was found all over the home, along with Farris' blood. 


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    "I found a T-shirt in the hamper that appeared to have ... some ash on it and blood," Hayes said. "Also a pair of shoes. I found on the bottom, you could tell someone had stepped around in some blood."

    Hayes said investigators found a bullet on the basement floor where the victim slept. DNA found on the bullet matched Gary Harris. Investigators compared that bullet with the one found in the victim's ribs. 

    "Because it had been involved in the fire and had impacted a bone, it appears it was deformed so badly they believed it to be a 380-caliber bullet," Hayes said. "Once we were able to get the other bullet that was more intact tested, based on the weight and diameter, they determined it to be a 38 instead of a 380."

    The hearing lasted more than two hours.

    The judge ruled that Farris' case will go to trial. 

    Farris' attorney told Pozen she's anxious and not sleeping well, but is focused on the case. She's scheduled to be back in court in two weeks for a bond hearing. 

    For now, Farris remains in jail. 

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