On Wednesday, Maricopa County prosecutors announced that they have filed a direct complaint against Leslie Allen Merritt, Jr. alleging sixteen felony counts in connection with a recent series of shootings that occurred on Interstate 10 in Phoenix. The charges include three counts of drive by shooting, six counts of aggravated assault, three counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm, three counts of disorderly conduct, and one count of endangerment.
Maricopa County Bill Montgomery acknowledged that many are questioning the charges against Merritt and the lack of credibility his office has due to his history of politically motivated prosecutions. “I understand the frustration by some with respect to the limited amount of information released by the Department of Public Safety to date,” said Montgomery. “However, I am equally grateful for the caution necessary to safeguard any prosecution of the Defendant and the need to protect Due Process rights,” he added.
The alleged offenses occurred between August 27 – 30, 2015 and involved the shooting of four separate vehicles. Merritt was arrested on September 18 and remains in custody on a $1 million bond. He is scheduled to appear at a status conference on September 25.
The charges are not evidence of guilt. Merritt is presumed innocent until proven guilty.