Former freeway shootings suspect sues state, county

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Leslie Merritt's attorneys at a news conference on Wednesday. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Leslie Merritt's attorneys at a news conference on Wednesday. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Leslie Allen Merritt Jr. was arrested on Sept. 18. He has said repeatedly that he was not involved in the freeway shootings. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Leslie Allen Merritt Jr. was arrested on Sept. 18. He has said repeatedly that he was not involved in the freeway shootings. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Once-accused I-10 freeway shooting suspect Leslie Merritt, Jr. has filed suit against Arizona state and county officials.

On Wednesday morning, Merritt's attorney Jason Lamm tweeted out the first page of that lawsuit.

"His arrest was the culmination of a botched investigation, a wrongful arrest and a malicious prosecution," Lamm said at a news conference on Wednesday. "As we stand here today, there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Leslie Merritt is the I-10 shooter, that he ever has been or that he ever will be. Phoenix is absolutely no safer than it was at the time of Leslie Merritt's arrest."

Merritt was accused of four of the 11 freeway shootings that terrorized the Valley last fall.  

[click/tap here to view lawsuit]

He was charged with 15 counts, including endangerment, drive-by shooting, unlawful discharge of a firearm, aggravated assault, and disorderly conduct in connection with freeway shootings.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Phoenix Freeway Shootings]

All charges against Merritt were dismissed without prejudice in April.

"The Department of Public Safety and the County Attorney's office, they perpetrated a public relations stunt to calm the public with no evidence whatsoever to legally support Mr. Merritt's arrest, said Lamm.

[Raw video: Lawyers for former freeway shooting suspect hold briefing on lawsuit]

Last month a judge has ruled that Merritt, Jr. would not be getting his gun back.

Merritt’s attorneys went to court in late August, asking Judge Warren Granville that Merritt’s 9 mm weapon be returned to him.

The judge ruled that that DPS can keep Merritt's gun as evidence.

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


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