KGUN 9News


Accused freeway shooter set to get out of jail

Posted at 10:06 AM, Apr 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-19 20:57:40-04

He was called a domestic terrorist for shooting at drivers along the freeway, but now the suspected freeway shooter is set to get out of jail.

An emergency hearing was held Tuesday morning for the accused shooter, Leslie Merritt Jr.

Merritt will be released from jail

DPS said ballistic evidence linked Merritt to four of the eleven freeway shootings during the summer of 2015.

Recently, the County Attorney’s Office called in secondary ballistics professionals to confirm whether Merritt's gun was in fact connected to the shootings, like DPS said in September 2015

Those additional ballistics tests revealed the original bullet fragments could not be confirmed to be from Merritt's gun.

FULL COVERAGE: Phoenix freeway shootings

The judge ruled that Merritt's bond would be reduced to $0 and he would therefore be released from jail. Logistics of an electronic monitor are yet to be determined.

According to Merritt's attorney, Merritt is "elated" to be going free. His release date is up to the sheriff's office, but his attorney expects his release to happen at some time Tuesday night.

ABC15 reached out to DPS for comment on the hearing and got a response from spokesperson Bart Graves reading: "As you know there is a court order barring us from commenting on this case until it has been adjudicated which applies to the Director as well."

Merritt is "elated" to be going free

Earlier this month, Merritt's fiancee, Dina Sauceda, was visited by Department of Public Safety investigators who wanted her to answer more questions, according to defense claims.

Additionally, a judge denied a motion wanted by Merritt’s defense attorneys to question DPS Director Frank Milstead.

Since Merritt's arrest, the Department of Public Safety has not asked for the public's help in solving the crimes, even though the other seven are unsolved.