Judge denies Leslie Allen Merritt Jr.'s request to get gun back

PHOENIX - A judge had ruled that the former suspect in a series of Phoenix freeway shootings last year won't be getting his gun back at this time.

Attorneys for Leslie Merritt Jr. went to court Thursday, seeking the return of Merritt's weapon.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Warren Granville ruled the gun will remain in evidence with the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Merritt had been the only named suspect in four of 11 shootings that caused panic on Phoenix-area freeways in August and September of 2015.

An expert for the prosecution determined bullets in those four incidents couldn't be linked to Merritt's firearm.

Projectile vs shooting: What's the difference?

Merritt spent seven months in jail before his release in April. He insists that authorities arrested the wrong person.

Prosecutors could still re-file charges against Merritt, however.

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