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Man sentenced in MARTA murder, multiple rapes | News

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Man sentenced in MARTA murder, multiple rapes
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DECATUR, Ga. -- A DeKalb County man was recently sentenced to life without parole for murdering a woman at a MARTA bus stop and raping three others.

Christopher Merritt decided to plead guilty in lieu of facing the death penalty.

According to the murder indictment, Merritt, 18, approached Marcaysia Dawkins at a Fairington Road MARTA stop on Nov. 23, 2014. While waiting at the bus stop, Merrit approached Dawkins and attempted to steal her handbag.

During the struggle, Merritt fatally shot Dawkins twice with a 9mm handgun and fled the scene with the victim's belongings.

Merrit faced two additional indictments for crimes including three rape charges and two armed robbery charges from 2013. All of Merritt's indictments were included in the recent plea before DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gail Flake.

"The life of a vibrant, young and hardworking 19-year-old woman was taken away in broad daylight for no reason at all," District Attorney Robert James said. "While no sentence could ever undo what has been done at the hands of Christopher Merritt, I hope that all of our victims and their loved ones can rest in knowing that he will spend the rest of his life behind bars."

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