DPS accused of lying to freeway shooting witness

Posted at 8:01 PM, Dec 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-07 22:01:21-05

A new motion accuses the Department of Public Safety of hiding evidence and also lying to a witness in the freeway shootings investigation.

According to court paperwork obtained by ABC15, Leslie Merritt Jr’s cellphone allegedly shows he was miles away from the shooting scenes he is being charged with.


Dina Sauceda is Merritt's significant other.

After Merritt’s arrest, Detectives asked Dina about Merritt's whereabouts on August 29th because 3 separate shootings occurred that day.

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FULL COVERAGE: Arizona Freeway Shootings

DPS detectives told her they had video that placed him and another person near the scenes. However, when Dina asked to see video, DPS didn’t show her.

The Arizona Department of Transportation does not record any video on Valley freeways. The freeway cameras only show live video.


Detective: "OK. Right now, listen up. There's a thing called a-a-a-a domestic terrorism charge. "

Fiancé: “Yeah. “

Detective: “OK? That's what you're looking at. OK? That kind of includes the whole family. OK? If you have knowledge of what's going on, I strongly suggest that you tell us right now..." 

Fiancé: “I don't know what's going on. “

Detective:…”because you will be included”

Fiancé: “I don't. I swear to God. I don't. I don't know what is going on. And you guys are just thinking I'm trying to get off the freaking hook. I do not. I swear to God I do not know what's going on.....I need to be home with my kids. I would not lie just for him....”

The motion also accuses the State of Arizona of not giving all of the evidence to the grand jury before Merritt was indicted.

ABC15 reached out to DPS for a comment on the motion, but due to a gag order by the judge in the case, the department cannot make any comments.

RELATED: New report suggests three new freeway shootings in Phoenix