Chattanooga man indicted, charged with daughter’s death

A Chattanooga man has been indicted in the July death of his 11-month-old daughter, according to court records.

Nicholas Peter Merrill was indicted on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated child neglect after he allegedly left the girl, identified in court papers as M.M., in a vehicle July 13, according to the Aug. 29 indictment.

(READ MORE: Alleged shooter in August homicide near Chattanooga's Amazon facility has case sent to grand jury)

The Hamilton County Medical Examiner's report ruled the child's death a homicide due to hyperthermia — or exposure to high temperatures — and said Merrill carried the child to Erlanger hospital and told medical staff he had left her in the kitchen area from 1 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 13 while still in her car seat.

The baby was examined by nursing staff members, who found she was cold to the touch and pronounced her dead, according to the report.

(READ MORE: Hamilton County, former sheriff sued for $4.5 million in wrongful death lawsuit)


Merrill was arrested Wednesday, according to jail records, and bond was set at $150,000, according to court records. Jail records show Merrill is still in custody at the Hamilton County Jail awaiting arraignment Sept. 15 before Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Boyd Patterson.

(READ MORE: Cleveland, Tennessee, woman accused of impersonating nurse has case sent to grand jury)

  photo  Hamilton County Sheriff's Office / Nicholas Peter Merrill

Contact La Shawn Pagán at or 423-757-6476.