An Arizona man who was arrested last year in connection to a series of freeway shootings has been released from jail as questions arise about the ballistics evidence pointing him to the crime.
A judge ordered that 21-year-old Leslie Merritt Jr.’s bond is reduced from $1 million to zero. The judge said that Merritt can go home but would be under electronic monitoring.
The judge’s orders come after Merritt’s attorneys presented evidence showing that there is no ballistics match connecting their client to the shootings.
Merritt will be required to return to court on May 18th.
Prosecutors have not released any comments about Merritt’s release citing a gag order issued by the judge.
Merritt, a landscaper from Phoenix has been in jail for the past seven months. He is being charged with 15 criminal counts including drive-by-shooting and aggravated assaults. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Since his arrest, Merritt has been in solitary confinement.
The shootings that occurred last August and September terrorized Phoenix-area drivers. The shootings appeared to be done at random striking 11 vehicles. Only one person sustained minor injuries.
Police had arrested Merritt after they linked a gun that was owned by the suspect at the pawnshop.
Related Florida news here