Officials on Friday unsealed hundreds of pages of reports in the Valley freeway shootings trial.
A 1,000-page Department of Public Safety report was made available after Judge Warren J. Granville ruled that the agency should apply provisions of Arizona's records law to numerous pending requests for materials related to the case.
Check out seven things we learned from the report:
- Police had 11 contacts with suspect Leslie Merritt Jr. between 2009 and 2014
Some were as simple as arguments that got out of hand, while others included domestic violence, criminal damage, and theft. Crews also responded to a fire on Feb. 22, 2014 that Merritt started when he mishandled black powder "causing extensive damage to the home and severe burns to his face, chest and hands."
- Merritt Jr. said he was bipolar
According to a police report on one of the 11 calls for service, Merritt Jr. "admitted to having issues with anger and said he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, ADD, ADHD, and ODD. He reported he was taking lithium and has been on some form of medication since he was five years old."
- Merritt Jr. at various times lived with his grandmother
At one point, there were 15 people living at the grandmother's home. At another time, Merritt lived there with his girlfriend and his ex-girlfriend.
- Two of the people Merritt Jr. worked with had prior felony convictions
They were both paranoid about being in his car because of the gun he always had with him. Part of their release conditions was that they couldn't have access to guns.
- Family members and co-workers say Merritt Jr. was touchy when picked on and he was picked on often at work
One co-worker said Merritt Jr. would often say, "one day you'll be sorry" when he was mad fun of, which was often. He said the work crew was "picking on the wrong guy," and that, "he seemed like the type of guy that would snap one day."
- Merritt Jr.'s jailhouse phone conversations were recorded
In one conversation with his wife, she told him she had her alibis together. "They were at Nan's together with her dad." "Eddina said she'd get her dad to support the alibi."
- In Merritt Jr.'s 90-minute interview with DPS, the investigator indicated (falsely) that they had video of Merritt shooting out of his car, but Merritt wasn't buying it
DPS: I have video tape from the freeway with your silver car. I have ballistic tests that comes back to your gun.
Merritt Jr.: You have a video of me shooting my gun out of the car?
Merritt Jr.: B*******.
Merritt Jr.: I have not fired my gun dude, that's b*******.
Merritt Jr. has been behind bars for almost six months.
He is being charged with four of the confirmed 11 freeway shootings that happened in 2015.
The timeline below shows a comparison to Merritt Jr.’s alibi and the confirmed shootings that he is connected to. (For a fullscreen view, click here)