Merritt bonds out of jail following arson charges - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Merritt bonds out of jail following arson charges

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Juan Merritt (courtesy: Muscogee County Jail) Juan Merritt (courtesy: Muscogee County Jail)
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MUSCOGEE COUNTY, GA (WTVM) -

A Muscogee County corrections officer bonded out of Muscogee County Jail and will not appear in municipal court. 

News Leader 9's Curtis McCloud has been investigating if the now-suspect set the car on fire to get money, one of the possibilities told to us by authorities this afternoon.

We're also told that this man, Juan Merritt, is still being held at the Muscogee County Jail.

He was arrested Monday morning and charged with criminal damage to property and arson after his 2013 Dodge Charger was found burned at the Holly Hills apartment complex early Friday morning.

Reports say that the car was co-owned by a female deputy within the Muscogee County Sheriff's Department who Merritt had lived with back in March.

Officials tell us that they are working hard to find out why Merritt would damage his own property.

"Mr. Merritt was found setting his vehicle on fire in the parking lot area of Holly Hills Apartment," said Assistant Chief Greg Lang with Columbus Fire & EMS. "I don't know if there has ever been a case where city officials have done something like this, I can't recall." 

We spoke with Sheriff John Darr, and he tells us that Merritt has since been fired from the sheriff's office.

Authorities tell us this is an ongoing investigation.

Merritt is being represented by attorney Stacy Jackson.

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