Judge to hear arguments in Phoenix freeway shootings case

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Freeway shooting suspect Leslie Merritt in court for a hearing on Dec. 16, 2015 (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Freeway shooting suspect Leslie Merritt in court for a hearing on Dec. 16, 2015 (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
PHOENIX (AP) -

Lawyers for a man charged in some of the Phoenix-area freeway shootings will be allowed to argue why the case should be returned to a grand jury.

At a hearing Wednesday, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge set aside 90 minutes on Feb. 19 to hear arguments by attorneys for 22-year-old Leslie Allen Merritt Jr.

Prosecutors say ballistics tests tie Merritt to four of the 11 shootings that occurred on metro Phoenix freeways between Aug. 22 and Sept. 10.

Eight cars were hit with bullets and three were struck with projectiles such as BBs or pellets, most along Interstate 10.

Merritt's lawyers say he was not near the crime scenes.

They've accused Arizona Department of Public Safety officials of bullying witnesses and withholding key information from the original grand jury.

[Special Section: Freeway shootings]

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