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Phoenix freeway shootings update: Trial set in suit about Leslie Merritt Jr. arrest

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Posted at 4:51 AM, Dec 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-11 06:53:55-05

PHOENIX — An April 6 trial has been scheduled for a false-arrest lawsuit filed by a landscaper once charged in some of the freeway shootings in metro Phoenix during the summer of 2015.

Most of Leslie Merritt Jr.'s legal claims against Arizona Department of Public Safety officers were dismissed last month.

But he can still seek damages on his claims of false arrest and false imprisonment for the six-day span between his arrest and indictment.

A judge has said police lacked probable cause to detain Merritt during that short period. Merritt was jailed for seven months before his charges were dismissed.

While authorities say the investigation has continued, no one else has been arrested.

Investigators said Merritt's handgun was linked to four of the shootings, but Merritt insists he's innocent.

Criminal charges were dropped after ballistics evidence came under heavy criticism.

Take a look at the map below for detailed information about the incidents related to the freeway shootings.