Suspect's lawyers seek deposition from Gov. Ducey in freeway shootings case

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Leslie Allen Merritt Jr. as he awaited his first court appearance (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Leslie Allen Merritt Jr. as he awaited his first court appearance (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Booking photo of Leslie Merritt Jr. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Booking photo of Leslie Merritt Jr. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Freeway shooting suspect Leslie Allen Merritt Jr. in custody on Sept. 18 (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Freeway shooting suspect Leslie Allen Merritt Jr. in custody on Sept. 18 (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
DPS holds a news briefing following Leslie Merritt's arrest. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) DPS holds a news briefing following Leslie Merritt's arrest. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The latest filing in the freeway shootings case is requesting a deposition from Gov. Doug Ducey.

The attorneys for Leslie Allen Merritt Jr. are requesting the governor be questioned for a tweet he sent out after Merritt was taken into custody.

In that tweet, Ducey wrote "We got him!"

Merritt was arrested by a Department of Public Safety SWAT team as he left a Wal-Mart store in Glendale on Sept. 18. He is being charged in four of the 11 shootings that occurred between Aug. 22 and Sept. 10.

In the filing, Merritt's lawyers contend it is evident that Ducey had substantial knowledge of the investigation and impending arrest, so much so that he was able to announce the arrest before law enforcement was able to hold a press conference.

They are calling Ducey's deposition necessary to prepare a defense.

Ducey's spokesman Daniel Scarpinato released the following statement Thursday morning:

"This appears designed to be a publicity stunt. This issue is in the hands of the judicial branch, where it belongs. We have confidence that the suspect will receive a fair trial, and the governor has nothing of relevance to add."

No one was seriously injured after eight cars were hit with bullets and three were struck with projectiles, such as BBs or pellets.

Merritt has denied involvement in the shootings.

[READ: 'We got him!' tweet draws scrutiny in freeway shootings case]

[SPECIAL SECTION: Freeway shootings]

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