Suspected valley freeway shooter released from jail

- The man charged in four of 11 confirmed valley freeway shootings has been released from the Lower Buckeye Jail.

During an emergency hearing in court on Tuesday, Judge Warren Granville lowered Leslie Merritt Jr.'s bond to $0, effectively releasing him from jail.

As a condition upon his release, Merritt will be required to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet. He is due back in court on May 18.

Merritt was arrested in September of 2015 after detectives say they forensically linked a gun that he pawned to four of the shootings.
 
Authorities released Merritt late Tuesday afternoon where he gave a brief statement before leaving to be with his family.
 
"Thank you, everyone, for coming out and the support, I told you guys when I first got arrested I didn't do it. Right now I just want to go home right now and be with my kids, and thanks to everyone for supporting me, thanks for my lawyers, I'm going home," said Leslie Merritt Jr.
 
Attorneys for both sides are not allowed to discuss the case publicly, making it unclear what evidence prosecutors will use against the 22-year-old.
 
Phoenix Attorney Joel Robbins, who is not involved in the case, believes the judge's ruling signals a weak case.
 
Merritt is due back in court next month; he's pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, including drive-by shooting and aggravated assault.
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