Recent Leslie Merritt Jr. arrest may stop him from getting gun

Posted at 12:43 PM, Dec 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-07 10:24:17-05

Another motion has been filed in the legal battle over possession of Leslie Merritt Jr.'s gun.

Last week prosecutors filed court papers saying it was inappropriate for the court to return Merritt Jr.'s gun to him because of a recent arrest in Glendale.

Merritt Jr. is accused of violating an order of protection when he allegedly went to the apartment of a woman and threatened her and her family. As part of his release orders, a judge ordered that he not be in possession of any guns.

Prosecutors cited this and the on-going investigation into the 'freeway shootings case' as a reason not to return Merritt Jr.'s gun to him.

Attorneys for Merritt Jr. have now filed a response saying the multiple examinations on the weapon are complete and charges against him have been dropped so there is no need to restrict him from getting his gun back.

As far as him being a 'prohibited possessor' they say, possessing a weapon is not the same as ownership, and he has requested that DPS release the gun to his attorney.

Merritt spent months behind bars facing charges connected to a series of shootings along Phoenix-area freeways that caused Valley-wide panic.   

Merritt was released from jail in April after charges against him were dropped when a ballistic expert found the Arizona Department of Public Safety's crime lab had come to a faulty conclusion and noted the bullets from shootings couldn't be "excluded or identified" as having come from Merritt's gun.
Merritt Jr. filed a lawsuit alleging false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and aiding and abetting torturous conduct.