Judge: Defense can’t interview Gov. Ducey in freeway shooter’s case

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Leslie Merritt Jr. was in court for a hearing on Tuesday. (Source: KPHO./KTVK) Leslie Merritt Jr. was in court for a hearing on Tuesday. (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)
Accused freeway shooter Leslie Merritt in court on Tuesday. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Accused freeway shooter Leslie Merritt in court on Tuesday. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Freeway shooter suspect Leslie Merritt Jr. in court. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Freeway shooter suspect Leslie Merritt Jr. in court. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A judge ruled Tuesday that lawyers for accused freeway shooter Leslie Merritt Jr. can’t interview Gov. Ducey in the case.

It has to do with a tweet Ducey sent out after Merritt was arrested in connection with the freeway shootings.

Ducey tweeted, "we got him!" back on Sept. 18 when Merritt was apprehended.

[MOBILE USERS: Click to watch Tuesday's entire proceeding]

In the filing, Merritt's lawyers say based on this, it's evident that Ducey had quite a bit of knowledge about the investigation and arrest, so much so that he was able to announce the arrest before police even did.

But Ducey's spokesman released a statement, in part saying, "the governor has nothing of relevance to add."

The judge also ordered the prosecution to turn over ballistic evidence to Merritt's lawyers by March 4.

The defense will get to examine the high point 9-millimeter semi-automatic weapon Merritt allegedly used in the shootings, along with projectiles from the scene and any unused ammunition.

In another ruling, this one in regards to a motion to seal the I-10 shooting case, the judge said the "public has the right to know” and ordered courtroom proceedings to be open to the public.

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

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