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Maricopa County attorney wants some info withheld in I-10 document release

A tip line for motorist is seen on a freeway sign along I-10, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015 in Phoenix. Numerous shootings of vehicles along I-10 over the past two weeks have investigators working around the clock to find a suspect in a spate of recent Phoenix freeway shootings that have rattled nerves and heightened fears of a possible serial shooter. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said he wants some personal information withheld from the public in the case against alleged freeway shooter Leslie Allen Merritt, Jr.

On Tuesday, a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge ruled that all documents in the case be unsealed, with personal information redacted.

Montgomery said at a press conference Wednesday that there would be additional steps before those records are officially released to the public. He said in the meantime, his office will try to point out to the court why it may be in the best interest of the state not to release everything, such as investigatory information regarding witnesses.

“This isn’t an exercise in seeing how much can we keep away from the media, but rather wanting to be able to carry out and do a full and thorough investigation so that we can come to a conclusion,” Montgomery said.

Because the court ruled to dismiss the case against Merritt without prejudice, the state can still refile charges. Montgomery said his office will continue to work with the Arizona Department of Public Safety to investigate the I-10 evidence.

“I know what the perceptions are out in the community,” Montgomery said. “They’re going to be that way unless and until we’re able to take the next step or say more, and at this point I can’t.”

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