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.