He was called a domestic terrorist for allegedly shooting at drivers along the freeway, but now the suspected freeway shooter is out of jail.
An emergency hearing was held Tuesday morning for the accused shooter, Leslie Merritt Jr.
Merritt released from jail
DPS said ballistic evidence linked Merritt to four of the eleven freeway shootings during the summer of 2015.
Recently, the County Attorney’s Office called in secondary ballistics professionals to confirm whether Merritt's gun was in fact connected to the shootings, like DPS said in September 2015
Those additional ballistics tests revealed the original bullet fragments could not be confirmed to be from Merritt's gun.
The judge ruled that Merritt's bond would be reduced to $0 and he would therefore be released from jail.
— Nohelani Graf (@NoheG) April 20, 2016
According to Merritt's attorney, Merritt is "elated" to be going free.
Judge Warren Granville granted the motion to modify release to pretrial service release with electronic monitoring in State v Merritt Jr.
— MC Superior Court (@courtpio) April 19, 2016
ABC15 reached out to DPS for comment on the hearing and got a response from spokesperson Bart Graves reading: "As you know there is a court order barring us from commenting on this case until it has been adjudicated which applies to the Director as well."
Since Merritt's arrest, the Department of Public Safety has not asked for the public's help in solving the crimes, even though the other seven are unsolved.
Gov. Doug Ducey's office released the following statement about Merritt's case:
"Our concern has and always will be public safety. The community was in a constant state of fear over the I-10 shootings for three weeks, including warning signs on the freeway. The governor is glad we have now gone seven months without shootings, and he will continue to put public safety first. With respect to the ongoing case before the court - it is in the hands of the judicial branch, where it will continue to play out, and we are confident the process will be fair."