White man crashed into black woman's car, then shot her to death, Ohio police say

Witness said the woman had her hands up when she was shot near Cleveland: "I can't get her screams out of my head"

By Ben Norton
August 29, 2016 11:15PM (UTC)
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Matthew Desha (Solon Police Department)

A white man has been charged with murder after crashing into a black woman's car and then shooting her dead.

At around 7 a.m. on Saturday, 29-year-old Matthew Ryan Desha ran a red light and slammed into a car being driven by 53-year-old Deborah Pearl.

Desha's car flipped over. Then he got out of the wreckage carrying a rifle, according to witnesses. Police say Desha shot Pearl with a 5.56-millimeter rifle, Cleveland.com reported.

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Officers found Pearl on the ground, bleeding. Paramedics took her to the hospital, where she soon died.

The incident took place in Solon, Ohio, outside of Cleveland.

A witness said that Pearl had her hands in the air when Desha shot her multiple times. "I can't get her screams out of my head," she said.

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Another witness who lived nearby told local media she heard four gunshots and heard Pearl scream.

A witness also told 911 dispatchers she saw the man shooting the rifle after the crash. “It was a senseless killing,” she said.

Police arrested Desha after the shooting. He has been charged with murder.

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Desha appeared in court on Monday on murder charges and his bond was set at $1 million.

The New York Daily News, which also reported the story, noted that Desha had been charged in May with carrying a concealed weapon and possessing drug paraphernalia in his car.

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Pearl's husband said she had been driving to work when her life was unexpectedly taken from her.


Ben Norton

Ben Norton is a politics reporter and staff writer at AlterNet. You can find him on Twitter at @BenjaminNorton.

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