Document sealing sought in freeway-shooting case

Posted at 4:21 AM, Jan 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-29 12:20:50-05

Prosecutors want a judge to seal court documents filed in the case against a man charged in some of the metro Phoenix freeway shootings.

Thursday's motion is aimed at preventing pretrial media dissection of the case involving 21-year-old Leslie Allen Merritt Jr.

Merritt was arrested in September after authorities say they used ballistic tests to tie Merritt to four of the 11 shootings that occurred on freeways last summer.

Defense lawyers say prosecutors are trying to decimate Arizona's public-records laws without legal authority.

A judge already has barred attorneys from speaking publicly about the case, but prosecutors say the order doesn't go far enough to prevent irrevocably tainting a jury pool.

Oral arguments will be heard next month on whether to remand the case back to a grand jury.