Suspect charged with brutal killing of mom in Olney

April 2, 2010 2:50:00 PM PDT
A Philadelphia man has been charged with the brutal killing of a mother of four in the Olney section of the city.

Sharod Graham, 21, of the 6000 block of West Callowhill Street, was arrested late Thursday night for the attack in the Olney section of Philadelphia.

Graham is charged with Murder, Attempted Rape, Sexual Assault and other related offenses.

Police say Graham attacked Eraina Merritt, a 47-year-old mother of four, behind a deli in the 5600 block of North Broad Street on March 24th.

Police said deli employees went behind the store to take out the trash and saw a man hitting a naked woman on the ground. They broke up the attack and the assailant fled.

Merritt never regained consciousness after the attack and police could not interview her. She died Monday of her injuries.

Police released surveillance video of the attacker who was at the deli about 20 minutes beforehand.

Investigators say that video helped them crack this case.

"We put it out to the public, and we got a lot of calls as to who he might be," said Capt. James Clark of the Philadelphia police.

The suspect and the victim did not know each other before the attack, police said.

"I hope you rot in hell"

Action News spoke to Merritt's sister on Friday, who did not hold back when talking about the man accused of this crime.

"I hope you rot in hell. I hate you. And that's the nice way of saying it," said Monique Merritt.

She went on to say news of this arrest brought some comfort, but no relief.

"It's bittersweet. The devil has been taken off the street but my sister's still not here."

Merritt's family is left with the task of redefining their lives in the wake of an unspeakable loss.

"She was my best friend, she was my sister. She was the light in our family, she was the glue that kept us together."