Lawyers on both sides argue in valley freeway shooting case

- The case against the man accused of some of last summer's valley freeway shootings returned to court Tuesday morning.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety says Leslie Merritt Jr., is connected to four of 11 shootings and lawyers on both sides made arguments before a judge rules on a couple of issues, including a request from the defense to interview Gov. Doug Ducey.

Merritt was in court for the hearing that lasted about 20 minutes and the judge considered a request from prosecutors to seal the case. Attorneys are already under a gag order, and on top of that, prosecutors wanted all paperwork and proceedings closed off to the public.

The judge denied this request but allowed for exceptions for things, such as personal information regarding witnesses.

Defense attorneys also asked to question Gov. Ducey based on his tweet saying "we got him" moments after Merritt's arrest because they wanted to know how involved the governor was in the investigation.

"We seek to explore in a very limited fashion what knowledge and information the governor was privy to at that point in, so far as it may cause impeachment of other witnesses," Defense attorney Jason Lam said.

The judge denied this motion but didn't rule it out completely.

He told defense attorneys that if they develop some kind of evidence that would warrant questioning the governor, they could ask again.

Attorneys on both sides will be back in court on Feb. 19.

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