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Man accused of killing Twinsburg woman bound over to Cuyahoga County court

Matthew Desha appears in Bedford Municipal Court Aug. 31, waives preliminary hearing

by Gina Mace | Reporter Published: September 7, 2016 12:00 AM
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Bedford -- A 29-year-old North Ridgeville man, accused in the fatal shooting of a Twinsburg woman after a traffic crash in Solon Aug. 27, saw his case bound over to a Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas grand jury Aug. 31.

Matthew Ryan Desha appeared in Bedford Municipal Court with attorney John Thomas for a status hearing before Judge Brian Melling and waived his right to a preliminary hearing on one count of murder, a first-degree felony.

Melling continued a $1 million cash bond he set during Desha's Aug. 29 initial appearance in Bedford. Desha is set to be transferred to the Cuyahoga County Jail, according to a Bedford Municipal Court official.

Solon police say Desha ran a red light Aug. 27 in his Jeep Grand Cherokee and collided with a Ford Taurus driven by Deborah J. Pearl, 53, at the intersection of Richmond and Solon roads. Witnesses say Desha exited his overturned vehicle and shot Pearl, who had exited her car, several times with an AR-15 rifle.

Pearl was pronounced dead at 8:18 a.m. at University Hospitals Bedford Medical Center.

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Desha suffered "bumps and scrapes" from the accident and refused medical treatment, police said.

Pearl, a mother of three and a grandmother who lived in Twinsburg with her fiance, was on her way to work at Southeast Harley Davidson in Bedford Heights, according to co-workers.

Solon police said there is no known connection between Desha and Pearl, nor a known motive for the shooting.

Witnesses who called 911 after the shooting said that Desha continued to walk around with the rifle, ultimately laying down on the ground near the scene of the accident.

The Associated Press reported that Desha served two tours in Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps and received treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

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He told North Ridgeville police in 2011 about his PTSD diagnosis, according to the Associated Press.

According to records, police were asked to check on him two years later after he stopped attending PTSD group therapy sessions at a Department of Veterans Affairs clinic.

The Solon Police Department Detective Bureau continues to investigate the shooting and traffic accident. The Ohio Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Identification is assisting in the investigation.

Check back at www.twinsburgbulletin.com for updates to this story.

Editor's Note: Editor Andrew Schunk contributed to this story.

Email: gmace@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9424

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