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North Ridgeville man indicted in murder of Twinsburg woman

Arraignment is Sept. 14 in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas

by Gina Mace | Reporter Published: September 12, 2016 1:11 PM
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Solon -- As the family of Deborah Pearl, 53, of Twinsburg, prepared for a Sept. 10 funeral, details became known from the Aug. 27 traffic crash and subsequent shooting that took her life.

First responders to the scene say Matthew Ryan Desha, 29, of North Ridgeville, indicted by a Cuyahoga County grand jury Sept. 9 on one count of aggravated murder in the shooting, "appeared to be wildly delusional and erratic," according to Solon police.

Desha was also indicted Sept. 9 on one count of murder; five counts of felonious assault; five counts of discharge of a firearm on prohibited premises; and four counts of attempted aggravated murder.

He will be arraigned in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Sept. 14. Check back at www.twinsburgbulletin.com for more information.

The affidavit for a search warrant, signed Aug. 27 by Solon Police Det. Kristi Harvey, details eyewitness accounts of what happened at the intersection of Richmond and Solon roads that morning just after 7 a.m.

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Ms. Pearl was headed north on Richmond Road, driving to her job at South East Harley Davidson's Harley Diner in Bedford Heights.

Desha, driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee, was stopped in the eastbound lane of Solon Road, at the intersection of Richmond and Solon roads, when he suddenly drove left of center around several vehicles stopped in front of him, sped through the red light and crashed into Ms. Pearl's Ford Taurus, witnesses told police.

The Jeep rolled over several times, finally coming to a stop upside down.

Witnesses report that Ms. Pearl was still inside her car when Desha exited his Jeep with an AR-15 rifle and fired four or five rounds at Ms. Pearl's car. Witnesses told police that Ms. Pearl then got out of her car and Desha fired several more rounds at Ms. Pearl, emptying the gun.

Ms. Pearl, who police say had never before met Desha, 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.

Witnesses in the affidavit say Desha tried to run from the scene, but was stopped by a bystander. Witnesses also told police that Desha eventually put the gun down and laid down on the ground.

When police and EMS arrived, Desha reportedly told police he has bipolar disorder, as well as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from his military service as a U.S. Marine in Iraq.

When Desha arrived at the Solon Police Department, he reportedly told Det. Harvey he was "sorry." Asked by Harvey about drugs he may have taken, Desha responded, "They said it was herbs."

While detectives were trying to piece together what happened, North Ridgeville police checked the mobile home where Desha lived. After they looked through the windows and saw guns and ammunition laying around, Harvey prepared a request to search the residence.

During the search, police found several rounds of ammunition and loaded magazines, a Winchester shotgun, Kevlar helmet, gas mask and a prescription bottle with six pills.

Desha remains in the Cuyahoga County Jail on a $1 million bond, awaiting action by a Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas grand jury on a charge of first-degree murder.

Ms. Pearl leaves behind her husband, Robert Murray, three children, five grandchildren, four sisters, a brother, and many friends, including those at South East Harley-Davidson.

Email: gmace@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9423

Twitter: @twinsburgohio


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