Mystery surrounds man's disappearance

Full story: Traverse City Record-Eagle

A downstate man listed as missing in Charlevoix disappeared a full two months before anyone reported his absence to police.

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court news

The Plains, VA

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#21
Apr 22, 2008
 
Raycraft testified that he flew Charles Jr. from Charlevoix to Washington D.C. on June 22; from Charlevoix to Chicago on June 28 and back to Charlevoix on June 29; from Charlevoix to Farmingdale, N.Y. on Aug. 16 and from White Plains, N.Y. to Charlevoix on Aug. 18.

He said on each trip Charles Jr. had two pieces of luggage with him and would not let anyone handle the luggage. He said Charles Jr. made very little small talk on all of the trips.

Charlevoix County Prosecutor John Jarema asked several questions about the size and shape of the luggage — for one trip described as a full-size duffle bag and a over-sized brief case.

The questions were pointed at trying to support the prosecution theory that Charles may have disposed of his brother’s body by dismembering it and either disposing of it part by part in various locations or perhaps hidden among a pile of old carpet, household furnishings and other items trash haulers carried away from the house on July 7.

Raycraft said as a passenger on a chartered flight, Charles’ luggage would not have been subject to the same luggage security screening — such as x-ray scans — as the luggage of regular airline passengers.

Through his cross-examination, defense attorney Dan Hartman suggested Charles might choose chartered flights for long-distance travel instead of regular airlines because he did not have a driver’s license or any other photo identification — a requirement for most airline travel.
next jurys verdict

United States

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#22
May 8, 2008
 
Upset that his brother Bill was about to end his 25-year lifestyle of sponging off his parents, Charles Merriman “clocked” his brother over the head with an ax while Bill sat in a living room chair.
That’s the theory Charlevoix County prosecutor John Jarema tried to sell to the jury during his closing argument in Charles’ murder trial Tuesday.
Since the trial began on April 15, Jarema has been building his case that sometime on or about June 15, 2006, Charles, 58, killed his brother Bill, then-54, in their parents’ Phelps Road home and disposed of the body.
Jarema pointed to the fact that authorities have found no evidence of Bill being alive since that date, several stains containing Bill’s blood found in the house, Charles inconsistent stories about a cut to Bill’s hand to explain the blood, Charles’ story that Bill left with a man named “Ed” to go help his ex-wife in Indiana, the fact that the house had been emptied of most of its contents and carpet, and three trips Charles made by chartered flight in the weeks following Bill’s disappearance as just some of the evidence of his guilt.
Guilty 2nd degree murder

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#23
May 9, 2008
 
Verdict reached in Merriman trial, guilty of 2nd degree murder

Friday, May 9, 2008 11:55 AM EDT
CHARLEVOIX -- A Charlevoix County Circuit Court jury has found Charles Merriman, 58, guilty of second degree murder. After more than 11 hours of deliberations, the jury reached its verdict at about 10:30 a.m. today, Friday.
my guess at sentence

Frederick, MD

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#24
May 27, 2008
 
On June 6th he will be sentenced ,I think charles will get at least 25 years to life or more for his crime.
20 to 40 years

Alexandria, VA

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#25
Jun 6, 2008
 
CHARLEVOIX — Charles Merriman, the 58-year-old Charlevoix County resident who a jury convicted of second-degree murder last month was sentenced today, Friday, to serve 20 to 40 years in prison.

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