PHOENIX — Defense attorneys for Leslie Allen Merritt Jr., the accused I-10 shooter, said there was never any evidence against their client in the case.
“Leslie Merritt is not the I-10 shooter,” attorney Ulises Farragut said. “The community needs an appropriate investigation so that we can all feel safe again. They need to find the real I-10 freeway shooter.”
Farragut said law enforcement failed to conduct a thorough investigation, which resulted in Merritt being blamed for four of the shootings.
“If they would have done that (a thorough investigation), Leslie Merritt would have never been arrested,” he said.
Merritt’s other attorney, Jason Lamm, alleged the state had to change the timeline of the shootings to fit its narrative in court.
Lamm used cell phone records to show Merritt was at home on Aug. 29, the time of the second shooting of which he was accused. He also said Merritt’s gun was in the pawn shop at the time of the Aug. 30 shooting, the fourth Merritt was accused of.
The attorneys said Merritt denied he was the I-10 shooter as many as 72 times while being interviewed by law enforcement and Merritt was not allowed to take a polygraph test, despite requesting one.
Farragut said he plans to proceed with a lawsuit against the state to hold officials responsible for the impact the accusations had on Merritt’s life.
“The damage that has been done to Leslie Merritt, to his family, to his children, is unforgivable,” Farragut said. “His reputation is ruined.”
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