When news broke of alleged freeway shooter, Leslie Merritt Jr., being released from jail, Valley attorney and Arizona Summit Law School professor Monica Lindstrom told 12 News she wasn’t surprised.
Lindstrom says that’s because of the evidence that’s being called into question.
“The biggest piece of evidence seemed to be the ballistics report,” she said. “From the beginning, that’s what linked Merritt's gun to the bullets recovered from the vehicles and when you have an expert say that is no longer conclusive, or that's no longer the case, that’s huge news -- that is a big revelation."
Up until now, the ballistics report seemed to be the backbone of the case against Merritt.
“There were no pictures of the defendant at the scene, there were no videos or eyewitnesses that we know of,” Lindstrom said.
She believes that's likely part of why the judge didn't even issue a bond.
“That really says a lot about the strength of the case and the individual defendant,” she said.
While it’s not entirely uncommon for a defendant to be allowed to await trial at home, in Merritt’s case she says the timing is unusual.
“If they're going to be released, it usually happens early on in the case,” she said.
So how could this latest development affect the future of Merritt’s case?
“Right now, if it were to go to trial there is definitely reasonable doubt,” Lindstrom said.