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Judge lowers bond amount for alleged Phoenix Interstate 10 shooter

Accused freeway shooter Leslie Allen Merritt, Jr., appears in Maricopa County Superior Court for his arraignment, in Phoenix, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. Merritt accused in some of the freeway shootings that put Phoenix drivers on edge for weeks pleaded not guilty Thursday as his defense lawyers questioned the strength of the evidence against him. (Tom Tingle/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool)

PHOENIX — A judge ruled Monday to lower the release bond of a man suspected in four shootings along Interstate 10 in the Phoenix area.

The decision means Leslie Allen Merritt, Jr. is being held on a $150,000 bond instead of the $1 million bond originally assigned by the court.

Merritt’s attorneys, who pushed for him to be released to work while wearing a tracking device, argued their client was not a flight risk. They said he will likely be unable to post the reduced bond.

Merritt’s attorneys argued that phone records showed he was not in the area at the time of the shootings.

Merritt was charged with opening fire on vehicles along I-10 on August 29 and August 31. At the time of his Sept. 18 arrest, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said the weapon used in these shootings was “forensically linked” to Merritt.

After he was arrested, Merritt said he’s “the wrong guy” and hadn’t had access to his guns for two months.

DPS had offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect, but in the end, authorities traced a gun they said had belonged to Merritt to a pawn shop.

DPS was still investigating the other seven shootings.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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