Deputy Sean Pearce Won't be Charged in Speeding-Caused Crash With Motorist

Categories: Crime Blotter

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Deputy Sean Pearce, the son of recalled State Senator Rusell Pearce, won't face criminal charges in his speeding-related crash that killed a Glendale motorist.

Maricopa County Bill Montgomery announced his office's non-charging decision this morning at a news conference, claiming that Pearce's obscured view and assignment in tracking a homicide suspect had to be taken into account. He denied strongly that politics played a part in the decision, calling such speculation "amateur analysis."

See also:
-MCSO Deputy Sean Pearce, Clocked at 81 MPH, Seconds Before Fatal Crash

The deputy's father, Russell, once one of the most powerful politicians in the state, supported Montgomery's successful 2010 bid for office. The county attorney position isn't open to challenge for another two years, anyway, Montgomery reminded reporters.

Whether on his mind or not, Montgomery's political life would probably be affected with a high-profile manslaughter prosecution of a cop who claims to have just been doing his job. Not just any cop, either, but Russell Pearce's son, a 20-year veteran of the MCSO whose street creds include recovering from a gunshot wound he received in 2004 at the hands of a fugitive illegal immigrant. You just knew Pearce would get off, despite the fact that he was driving at 81 mph in a 40 mph zone in his unmarked Chevrolet Tahoe, with no lights blazing or sirens sounding, and not responding to any actual emergency. And you were right.

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Bill Montgomery announced today that Maricopa County Deputy Sean Pearce will not be charged criminally in a December 16 crash that took the life of a Glendale man.
Montgomery says he personally viewed the crash video "dozens" of times. A factor considered by the prosecution review committee that ultimately made the decision not to charge was that the view of both drivers had been obscured for a brief moment by a car turning left.

As can be seen on the video, John Edward Harding's Nissan Cube was waiting to make a left-hand turn from West Hayward Avenue. It was about 1 p.m. on December 16, on a clear day. Harding, 63, was returning from a shopping trip. A compact car makes a left-hand turn from 59th Avenue onto West Hayward Avenue. A second later, Harding pulls out rather slowly, and the Tahoe suddenly races into view on an unstoppable collision course.

The Cube, despite its tiny, ungainly appearance, has "good" crash ratings. But the Tahoe, twice the Cube's weight, caved in the driver's side of the smaller vehicle. Harding died soon after at a hospital.

A Glendale police investigation concluded that if the Tahoe had been obeying the speed limit, the collision would not have occurred.

The fact that Harding and Pearce had their views obscured for a quick second, then, seems to be a moot point.

But the other significant factor was that Pearce was theoretically performing his law-enforcement duties at the time. He was "paralleling" a taxi containing the homicide suspect more than a mile away.

"He was trying to take a homicide suspect into custody," Montgomery says.

We asked Montgomery if an ordinary citizen going this fast and killing a motorist wouldn't have, in fact, faced criminal charges. We figured Montgomery would say not necessarily, and cite an example of a driver rushing his pregnant wife to a hospital, and that's exactly what Montgomery did.

However, that seems like an apples-to-prickly-pear-fruit comparison. Rushing someone to the hospital is an emergency, and Pearce wasn't having an emergency. The homicide suspect wasn't even driving a getaway car, but riding in a taxi.

If Pearce didn't receive a favor from the county attorney's office, he certainly got lucky.

Harding's family has filed a $5 million claim against the Sheriff's Office and Pearce in the case, alleging that Pearce had a responsibility to drive with common sense, wasn't responding to an emergency and was not in a vehicle equipped with lights and sirens.

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57 comments
ITSNOTBLACKANDWHITE
ITSNOTBLACKANDWHITE

Easy mistake, he should not be charged.  In fact having to live with the unnecessary guilt by killing someone in an a-c-c-i-d-e-n-t is already enough to deal with.  The PNT readers never planned on giving this guy a fair shake because of who his father is, no surprise there.  RIP to the old man, accidents happen- lost my mother 34 years ago and never held a grudge against the other driver. Life goes on, lets no spend ourselves into further debt with frivolous court cases.  Cheers!

wtf....
wtf....

WHAT? you mean you all were expecting this SOB to go to jail??? let me remind you folks we live in Arizona

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

I'm gonna start work on an anti-MontyPug ad.

>> MontyPug let twice-disgraced, corrupt, narcissistic and mentally sick Pearce off the hook for rigging his recall election.

>> Ordered MRW to keep silent on the Melendres appeal.

>> Telling the DOJ to "put up or shut up" regarding the old man's racial profiling ways.

>>Allowing Sean Pearce to get away with vehicular homicide.

Who's with me?

Reggievv
Reggievv

What would the reaction be if the cop was named Jose Wilcox, son of Mary Jo Wilcox, and the prosecutor was Terry Goddard, and the decision was made under the same circumstances? I never even heard of J.T. Ready.

Roger Morris
Roger Morris

Where is the vehicle he was so called chasing? The video doesnt show a car in front of him and after the crash a car appears behind him. What was the so called drug dealer he was chasing name? Its public record. Lets hear the police scanner informing him where to pursue the specific so called drug dealer. Until then. ITS A Coverup. All in the family

George Farkas
George Farkas

Phoenix takes a back seat to no one for corruption.

dennis20
dennis20 topcommenter

Ambulances try to save lives but they don't drive 81 in a 40 mph zone.  Pearce endangered everyone's safety. lets also not forget that Russell Pearce is a high ranking official in the Arizona GOP who could easily help a primary challenger to Montgomery. 

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

they say "ignorance of the law is no excuse"

by the same token, ignorance BY the law should be no excuse either.

Pearce disregarded common sense by not running with his lights and siren

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

not surprised or shocked that he was let off the hook. sadly i do understand that cops are granted a certain amount of leniency in certain cases (and rightly so.......in CERTAIN cases) but in a situation like this, i feel cops should be held to a higher standard and held accountable for their actions. as the article states, the guy was a passenger in a cab and there were multiple units converging on that cab. if Pearce was paralleling the cab blocks away, there was NO reason for him to not have the lights and siren running. if he was travelling twice the speed limit blocks away from the suspect with NO indicators or warnings of him being a emergency vehicle travelling at an excessive amount of speed.................it was pure negligence. (and in my opinion, the other unmarked unit that was running just behind him with no lights or siren either, was just as negligent)

RetiredArmy
RetiredArmy

More hypocrisy.

 Welcome to the Arizona "Animal Farm" criminal justice system.

Jukes
Jukes

I'm shocked, I say, SHOCKED ... that it took this long to let him off the hook.  Business as usual. 

Vizzini
Vizzini

Just great... Justice in Arizona is not justice at all.


MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Anyone wanna bet twice-disgraced, corrupt, narcissistic and mentally sick Pearce exerted undue influence over both the old man and MontyPug?

That snake runs the state GOP. Both Arpaio and MontyPug are Republican. Imagine what happens to both of them if Sean Pearce goes down?

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

I'll bet that taxi wasn't going 81mph. If it were, PHX PD and all the news choppers would be tracking it. So why the fuck was Pearce going that fast? Shit, if he was going that fast on a freeway out in the boonies, he woulda been pulled over.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

What a bunch of FUCKING BULLSHIT.

Justice in this fucking town is a bad joke.

Had this been a normal person, you'd be going to prison for years.

Fucking MontyPoodle, what piece of shit he is.

Slappy
Slappy

A.R.S. 28-693:  Reckless driving


A.  A person who drives a vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of persons, or property is guilty of reckless driving.  


A.R.S. Authorized emergency vehicles


This section does not relieve the driver "in this case Pearce" of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway. 


Driving "at 81 mph in a 40 mph zone in his unmarked Chevrolet Tahoe, with no lights blazing or sirens sounding, and not responding to any actual emergency."  


Pearce had a duty and responsibility to exercise extreme caution, as he chose not to use his emergency equipment.  Pearce is guilty of vehicular manslaughter and dereliction of  duty.  


Montgomery do your job.  

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

Another FINE example of criminal malfeasance by our wonderful county attorney and MCSO.


Thanks for the additional MILLIONS this will cost the county, as the family sues, which they are.. and wins....


They (the Attorneys office and MCSO) are blaming it on the view(s) being cut off by the driver turning left in front of the SUV... 


ENTIRELY ignoring the speed factor and the fact that since the SUV was on a paralleling street it COULD have had the lights/siren on since the suspect was not able to see it...


When is this county, it's legislature/officials AND IT'S CITIZENS going to stop sucking Pearce and Arpaios dick all the damn time???

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

Seriously!  How can MontyPoodle sleep at night?  Doesn't his wife complain about the green slime he oozes on the sheets?  This is ALL political payback to the Pearce clan, and if we had a sane AG, that AG would go after both Pearce and Montypoodle.  But look at who we got as the AG......

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Go back and read ARS 28-693 B&W.

The statute doesn't release first responders (like police) from civil or criminal liability when they cause injury or death to another driver. Only when responding to an actual emergency would allow the first responder being released from liability (lights and sirens going would have been nice).

This is vehicular homicide. Cut, dry the end.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@Reggievv 

The decision wouldn't have been the same, he would have been charged.

Life in prison without the possibility of parole would be my guess....and of course some Superior Court Judge would pass that sentence with a smile on his face.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@dennis20 

The judicial system in Maricopa County is a bad joke. These assholes, Pierce, Arpaio, Horne & Montgomery make a mockery of it every chance they get and laugh at us while doing it.

Fuck that POS Montgomery...and not because he's part of the corrupt GOP, but because he has no honor and no ethic's.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967 sadly..........nothing would happen to them if Sean Pearce went down. we have seen enough examples that prove that. i like your dream though and do wish that something would start the daisy chain that would start taking all the corrupt fucks out of their seats of power (ALL the corrupt fucks)

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967 Don't forget that Russ Pearce is today the #2 in the AZ-GOP.  Seems the sun city folks don't kbow slime from honey!

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

@markie19 Eeeeeww. Dubya kissing the old bag of bones on the forehead! What could be more disgusting!

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@eric.nelson745 He must have felt the need to jack off or beat a woman.  He is a Pearce after all!

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@Cozz even a bad joke would be better than what we have....

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Slappy, telling MontyPug to do his job would be like telling Arpaio to stay off the 6 o'clock news.

Never gonna happen.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Who's the victim's family's lawyer Flyer? Mike Manning?

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

All the strings of the Web connect. The slightest ripple stirs the spider.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

My thought on my comment was if Arpaio had terminated Sean or MontyPug charging Sean criminally, if daddy Russell would have them black-balled from the Arizona GOP Zigs....

After all, that vermin runs the state GOP. I strongly suspect undue influence was exerted by Russ (who also skated on felony charges during his now-legendary recall election) to prevent Sean from losing his job and his freedom. And that's the price Arpaio and MontyPug paid to retain party membership.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@WhoKnows @eric.nelson745 I was thinking he had to speed to catch up after gawking at whatever hot thing was next to him at the prior intersection

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@Flyer9753 @Cozz 

You're right.

Its scary to know these fuckers have life and death control over others.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967 This does sound like a case that Manning would take, just so he could laugh at what a idiots MCSO and MontyPoodle really are, and then prove they are idiots in court!!


BTW, will Jaffy ever tell us about the call he got from Manning that made him move to Fresno?

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967 Not sure - looks like Kevin Garrison per the legal filing linked at the bottom of the article.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Reminiscent of Adolf and the Nazis Cozz....

Arizona, the only state spelled with Nazi. Maybe that's why this racist, ass-backward state is still stuck in the '30s.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@WhoKnows will Jaffy ever tell us??? no, no he wont. but it has just got to be one hell of a story

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Oh I hope Mike Manning takes this case WK. There'd be an ass beating from here to Berlin, Germany in terms of how quickly the county would settle.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

I heard about that Zigs.

Back when JAFfy was threatening to kill people on this site, his comments got forwarded to Manning for review. Apparently Manning scared the shit out of Robert....I don't remember if WhoKnows or Wherewasi forwarded the comments though....

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

What????? Bobby busted for speaking the truth???? Well at least Shell gas benefited from the whole ordeal. ..............their bathrooms got a 5 star rating in the travel blogs

Woo hoo, way to rock the ratings Fresno

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Lol Zigs the twit doesn't speak the truth. He speaks with forked tongue.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

He's an idiot. Pure and simple, he's an idiot. Any jackass who would try to incite violence In the name of a man who devoted his life to peace and compassion..........fucking idiot

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