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Day: March 26, 2015

Pearson pleads guilty in murder case

Brett Angus Pearson pled guilty on Thursday, March 26 in the March 2014 murder of his mom and attempted murder of his dad.
Brett Angus Pearson pled guilty on Thursday, March 26 in the March 2014 murder of his mom and attempted murder of his dad.

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

The son accused in the murder of his mom and the attempted murder of his dad has pled guilty.

Brett Angus Pearson, 18, pled guilty on Thursday morning to one count of aggravated murder, one count of attempted murder with a firearm and one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder.
The charges stemmed from the March 5, 2014 murder of Michelle Pearson and the attempted murder of her husband, Wilfred “Bill” Pearson. The guilty plea was entered in the courtroom of Marion County Circuit Court judge Dale Penn.

David Wilson, Marion County deputy district attorney, said the trial against Brett Pearson had been set for Sept. 15 to Oct. 2. The guilty plea means that trial won’t be happening, with sentencing scheduled for Aug. 28.

“A lot of times it’s easier on a family to not go through a trial,” Wilson said on Thursday. “There are some details that don’t come out in a change of plea.”

Wilson said the sentencing range would be between 30 years and life.

At this point, Thursday’s plea has no impact on the other teenager charged in the crime. Brett Pearson’s friend Robert Daniel Miller III, 18, is scheduled to go to trial in November. Wilson said on Thursday’s it is too early to know if Miller will change his plea as well.

Both Pearson and Miller were arraigned on two counts each of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder with a firearm in March 2014. According to an indictment, Pearson agreed to pay Miller “money and things of value to unlawfully and intentionally” cause the death of his mom. In the same act, according to the indictment, Pearson agreed with Miller to cause the death of his parents between Feb. 1 and March 5, 2014.

Keizer Police Department personnel responded to the Pearson house on Ventura Loop around 11:30 p.m. last March 5, after an alarm at the house was activated. The deceased body of Michelle Pearson was found inside the house, while Bill Pearson was transported to Salem Hospital with “serious gunshot injuries.” He was released from the hospital about two weeks later.

Brett Pearson was arrested around 1 a.m. that night, with Robert Miller arrested a short time later.

Lady Celts return with big power at the plate

McNary senior Kimi Ito reaches to get an out at second base in a game last season. Ito is one of three seniors returning this season. (File photo)
McNary senior Kimi Ito reaches to get an out at second base in a game last season. Ito is one of three seniors returning this season. (File photo)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The drawback and the boon to adding three new softball teams to the league this season is that all three are something like powerhouses.

“One of the things that it will have an impact on is power ratings. When we have a struggling program somewhere in the league, we can play them and beat them 23-0 and our ranking will drop. When you do that three times, it takes a toll,” said Kevin Wise, head coach of the McNary High School softball program, regarding the smaller league the Lady Celts competed in last season.

The three teams added to the ranks of the new Greater Valley Conference -– Forest Grove, McMinnville and West Albany high schools – all made it to the state tournament last year. While the Celtics, Vikings and Grizzlies were all eliminated in the first round, the Bulldogs made it to the quarterfinals in the 5A competition.

“The new schools are generally stronger than some of the other teams in our league and we’ll only play each team twice,” Wise said.

However, McNary will also have to contend with South Salem High School last year’s 6A state champs.

The Lady Celts lost only two seniors to graduation last season, which means the team will return a number of athletes with a bounty of varsity experience.

This time around, the Celts have three seniors in outfielder Kimi Ito, pitcher Megan Ulrey and catcher Kiana Villareal. In addition to their strong performances in the field, all three were essential to what became an offense-heavy team last season. Ulrey started getting looks from colleges as a junior in the circle, and she’s already excited for what this season holds.

“We haven’t even started yet and we’re like sisters. Just to spend the whole season with these girls is going to be great,” she said. “We still have a lot of room to grow though.”

Villarreal said she’s eager to face some of the new teams’ players that