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Phoenix Freeway Shooting Suspect Files $10M Notice Of Claim

Published: Monday, March 14, 2016 - 1:19pm
(Photo courtesy of Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Leslie Allen Merritt Jr.

The man accused of carrying out some of last year’s Phoenix freeway shootings is setting the stage for a possible civil lawsuit. Attorneys for Leslie Allen Merritt Jr. have filed a $10 million notice of claim against the state, county and top officials — including the governor.

Leslie Allen Merritt junior was arrested in September and charged in four separate incidents in connection to last summer’s spate of shootings along Interstate 10.

Within minutes of his arrest, Gov. Doug Ducey tweeted out, “We got him!”

Merritt’s lawyers contend that — and other actions by the state leaders and law enforcement — constitute an improper rush to judgement. They’ve filed four separate notice of claims worth $2.5 million each against Ducey, the State of Arizona, Maricopa County and County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

In the civil notice obtained by KJZZ, Merritt’s attorneys say their 21-year-old client has been falsely accused, and that government entities have suppressed and ignored criminal evidence, and intimidated witnesses that could exonerate him.

A claim is the first step in taking legal action against the government.

A spokesman for Gov. Ducey declined to comment on the claim itself but said his office is confident Merritt will receive a fair trial.