Defense attorney files motion to unseal court proceedings in I-10 case

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Leslie Merritt Jr.'s attorney wants documents related to the I-10 shootings case unsealed (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Leslie Merritt Jr.'s attorney wants documents related to the I-10 shootings case unsealed (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Jason Lamm says the public has a right to know about the prosecution's case in the I-10 shootings investigation (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Jason Lamm says the public has a right to know about the prosecution's case in the I-10 shootings investigation (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

There have been major changes for the former suspect in last year's freeway shootings. Leslie Merritt Jr. was released last week and this week all charges against him were dropped.

Merritt is now a completely free man. We confirmed the ankle monitor he was wearing has been removed since charges against him were dropped.

Meantime, his attorney just accused prosecutors and the Department of Public Safety in a new court motion of hiding from the public the true strength of their case in the I-10 shootings investigation.

For a majority of the investigation, attorneys, prosecutors, witnesses, and people related to Merritt have all been under a gag order. 

"But the case is now over," said Merritt's attorney Jason Lamm. "There's no need for secrecy. This is information that the public is entitled to know."

Merritt's attorney filed a motion on Tuesday asking that the court unseal all pleadings in the I-10 shootings investigation. 

[READ MORE: New motion filed in freeway shooting case]

"If the proceedings are unsealed the public will understand what the evidence was against Leslie Merritt, and, more importantly, what it wasn't," Lamm explained. "It'll show the public why the case unraveled in the rapid fashion that it did."

The court filing also called out the spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney. Following Merritt's release, that spokesman said the dismissal of the charges were a representation of evidence the prosecution uncovered and not the defense. 

[PDF: Read full motion to unseal pleadings]

"This was critical exculpatory information," Lamm said. "That is, information that showed Mr. Merritt's innocence. So, to say that it was only what prosecutors had done that led to the dismissal, respectfully, we beg to differ."

He says there is no longer a legal or factual reason to refuse the public's right to know. 

"My hope is that the county attorney will be transparent in their handling of this," Lamm said. 

When asked for a response, the County Attorney's Office said it comments on defense motions in court, not the media. 

[RELATED: All charges against accused I-10 shooter dismissed]

The defense has a May 6 deadline to file another motion that would prevent the prosecution from ever again charging Leslie Merritt Jr. in connection with the I-10 shootings.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Freeway shootings]?

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


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