Defense attorney weighs in on I-10 shooter case
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The suspected I-10 freeway shooter Leslie Merritt Junior has been formally changed in the case.
Merritt now faces 16 felonies, but he continues to insist that he isn't guilty. He will soon have his day in court, but one question is how do you defend such a high profile case such as this.
Prosecutors believe they have enough evidence to convict Merritt on 16 felony counts, but a defense attorney FOX 10 spoke to says some of the details in the investigation don't really add up.
Attorney Scott Halverson says Merritt's claims in court may be detrimental to his defense. Especially now that the owner of the pawn shop says his records show Merritt's gun was not in the shop for two months.
"More often than not when a suspect, a defendant at this point tries to explain his way out of charges it makes the defense more difficult. To the extent that he says things that are inconsistent with the evidence it's going to hurt his credibility later when he testifies," said Scott Halverson.
Halverson says the fact Merritt pawned his gun is not consistent with a gunman who wants to cover his tracks and avoid getting caught, since most people are aware that pawn shops regularly turn their records over to police.
"Unless someone is mentally deranged, or wanting to be discovered, or take a risk of being discovered, it doesn't make sense they would take that chance, why not just drop that gun in a lake, so that's unusual to me," said Halverson.
DPS now says the timeline in the case has changed, before they had been saying the shooting spree began on August 29. Now they're saying it began August 27, because the driver in the case wasn't clear on exactly when his car was shot, he discovered the bullet when he went to get a flat tire changed.
Merritt is also linked to three freeway shootings that took place on August 29. He remains in jail on a $1 million bond.