Attorneys for suspected I-10 shooter want prosecutor’s ballistic evidence

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Booking photo of Leslie Merritt Jr. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Booking photo of Leslie Merritt Jr. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Merritt in handcuffs prior to booking on Sept. 18.. (Source: KPHO.KTVK) Merritt in handcuffs prior to booking on Sept. 18.. (Source: KPHO.KTVK)
Merritt at his first court appearance in September. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Merritt at his first court appearance in September. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The alleged I-10 shooter’s defense team wants prosecutors to hand over ballistic evidence they’re using to charge Leslie Merritt Jr, according to a motion filed in Maricopa County Superior Court.

The defense is seeking an order from the judge to require prosecutors to release the weapon Merritt allegedly used, along with projectiles recovered from his vehicle and unused ammunition. 

Merritt’s attorneys claim their consulting expert has not had a chance to review the items.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Freeway shootings]

In the motion, the defense said their need to study the evidence is "pressing" because "the alleged ballistic evidence is the only evidence linking Merritt to the allegations in the Indictment."

“It is necessary for the defense's consulting expert to review these items and forensically test said items in order to potentially rebut the opinions of the State's experts,” they stated in the motion.

They also release of the items is imperative because Merritt remains in jail unable to post bond and “his adamant and steadfast representations that he is not the I-10 freeway shooter," the motion stated.  

RELATED: Questions and answers about the Phoenix freeway shootings]

Merritt's next scheduled court date is Feb. 19 at 1:30 p.m. before Judge Warren Granville.

Merritt has denied involvement in the shootings since his arrest on Friday, Sept. 18.

While his defense team claims they have proof he isn't the shooter, the prosecution says his gun was used in the incidents.

The gun in question is a High Point 9 mm semi-automatic. Investigators have forensically linked it to four of the freeway shootings.

[INFOGRAPHIC: Freeway shooting incidents by date]

Three of the four shootings linked to Merritt and his gun occurred on Saturday, Aug. 29. Merritt pawned the gun a third time at around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 30. 

In the shooting list put out by DPS, the fourth shooting linked to Merritt took place on Aug. 30 between 9:45 p.m. and  10:15 p.m., more than four hours after he pawned the gun at Mo Money Pawn. 

[SLIDESHOW: Valley freeway shootings]

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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