A Cherokee County woman accused of shooting her husband of 38 years and then burning his body in an attempt to cover her tracks was granted a $250,000 bond Wednesday.
Melody Farris, a 59-year-old mother of four, was arrested in June and charged with the 2018 murder of her husband, 58-year-old Atlanta attorney Gary Farris.
Gary Farris’ remains were discovered on the couple’s 10-acre property by their youngest son in July 2018, but it would take nearly a year for investigators to determine a cause of death and charge Melody in the case.
Deputies said their investigation was slowed due to the charred state of Gary Farris’ remains, but his wife was arrested in Tennessee shortly after investigators determined he’d been shot with a .38 caliber bullet.
“Detectives recovered evidence indicating Ms. Farris shot and killed her husband inside their home and then tried to dispose of his body and evidence by burning it on their Purcell Lane property,” Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Jay Baker said in a news release announcing the charges last summer.
Investigators said the couple had been having marital problems but still lived together at the time of the shooting.
Police said in a July hearing that blood matching the attorney’s DNA was found all over the couple’s home and on a blouse and pair of shoes belonging to Melody Farris.
Detectives also said that the day before Gary Farris’ body was discovered, his wife allegedly told a man she was seeing that her husband was “on the burn pile,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.
Farris initially denied having an affair when questioned by police, but authorities found a debit card belonging to Rusty Barton in her purse, detectives said. After digging a little deeper, they discovered the two had exchanged more than 3,000 texts and called each other regularly in the six months preceding Gary Farris’ death, authorities said.
Melody Farris is charged with malice murder, aggravated assault and concealing a death, but she hasn’t been indicted, Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace said.
As of Wednesday evening, Farris remained at the Cherokee County jail.
In other news:
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.
With the largest team in the state, the AJC reports what’s really going on with your tax dollars and your elected officials. Subscribe today. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.
Your subscription to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.