The Latest: Lawyers: Freeway shooting suspect not at scenes

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Posted: Oct 01, 2015 1:20 PM
The Latest: Lawyers: Freeway shooting suspect not at scenes

PHOENIX (AP) — The latest on a series of freeway shootings in the Phoenix area (all times local):

10:20 a.m.

Attorneys for a man charged in some of the freeway shootings that rattled the Phoenix area are urging the public not to rush to judgment about him.

Leslie Allen Merritt Jr. pleaded not guilty Thursday during a brief arraignment. The 21-year-old Glendale man has been charged with aggravated assault, carrying out a drive-by shooting and other crimes.

Defense attorneys Jason Lamm and Ulises Ferragut said after the court hearing that the investigation by state police doesn't place their client at the shooting scenes.

They also said they'll investigate leads, including a possible admission of responsibility by somebody else. They didn't identify that person or provide details.

State police have said ballistic evidence ties Merritt to four of the 11 shootings. The investigation into the other incidents remains open.

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9:08 a.m.

A man charged in some of the freeway shootings that rattled the Phoenix area has pleaded not guilty.

A judge entered the plea for Leslie Allen Merritt Jr. during a brief arraignment Thursday. The 21-year-old Glendale man has been charged with aggravated assault, carrying out a drive-by shooting and other crimes.

Merritt didn't say anything at the hearing other than to give his name and date of birth.

Investigators say ballistics tests link him to four of 11 shootings that occurred on Phoenix-area freeways between Aug. 22 and Sept. 10. Merritt was arrested Sept. 18 at a Wal-Mart.

The investigation into the other shootings remains open. State police say copycats may be responsible.

Authorities say eight cars were struck with bullets and three with projectiles such as BBs or pellets.