Defense plans to call Milstead to shooting trial

Posted at 5:28 AM, Mar 24, 2016

The attorneys for the man put behind bars for less than half of the freeway shootings in 2015 now wants the head of the Department of Public safety to answer some questions.

DPS Director Frank Milstead gave several press briefings in 2015 during the series of freeway shootings across the Valley.

Now, Leslie Merritt Junior’s attorneys want to know what Milstead knew about the investigations.

The motion states DPS shifted the timeline of one of the freeway shootings.

According to court documents, a driver reported that after he left Sky Harbor on August 30 his tire pressure light came on.

In interviews with detectives, the driver said while he was driving to the airport on August 27 he noticed nothing was wrong with his vehicle.

On August 31, the driver took his vehicle to dealership and a bullet was removed from his left front tire.

The motion states that all of the above information was presented in press conferences hosted by Milstead.

The court documents state Milstead corrected his timeline after it was learned Merritt’s gun was in the pawn shop when the driver noticed something was wrong with his car.

According to the motion, DPS shifted the timeline of the shooting to suggest it happened between August 22 and August 27 even though there is no hard evidence to support the change in the timeline.

The defense plans to call Milstead as a witness to the freeway shootings trial because of his knowledge of the investigation.

The motion states attorneys tried to arrange an informal defense interview with Milstead before filing the motion but the State said “he is not available for an interview.”

RELATED: Who is the Phoenix freeway shooting suspect?

Merritt has been behind bars for six months.

He is being charged with four of the confirmed 11 freeway shootings that happened in 2015.

The Department of Public Safety has not asked for the public’s help since Merritt was arrested for less than half of the freeway shootings.

RELATED: Leslie Merritt Jr files $10 million claim against Arizona, Doug Ducey

FULL COVERAGE: Phoenix freeway shootings

The timeline below shows a comparison to Merritt’s alibi and the confirmed shootings that he is connected to. (For a fullscreen view, click here )