Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery is defending his decision to drop the charges against accused freeway shooter Leslie Merritt, Junior.  A judge ruled last week Merritt could not be kept in custody in light of contradictory ballistics evidence and Merritt was released after seven-month stint in jail.  Montgomery says “we did exactly what we are supposed to do as prosecutors and what I think people would

expect our office to do.”  He adds the wrong thing for him to do would have been to go forward with the case as it was.”  However, Montgomery also notes this case is far from closed.  He says he “will continue to work with the Department of Public Safety to review all the evidence we’ve got and to address questions that have come up over the course of our review.”  Despite the contrary ballistics testing, Montgomery still has confidence in the DPS Crime Lab. Meanwhile, Montgomery has left the door open to refile charges against Merritt if evidence points in that direction, but he will not commit to announcing any intent as of yet.

Kris Dugan