Johnson County Judge Arrested For DWI And Other Charges

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- A Johnson County Circuit Court Judge was arrested Friday (Jan. 20) night for DWI after fleeing from police.

Johnson County Sheriff Larry Jones confirmed to 5NEWS that William M. Pearson, 57, of Clarksville, was booked into the detention center for DWI.

Arkansas State Police arrested Pearson.  He was jailed at 10:40 p.m. for DWI, reckless driving and refusing to submit to a chemical test. He paid a $1,405 bond was released at 1:40 a.m. on Saturday (Jan. 21).

According to the Arkansas State Police, Pearson was arrested around 9:30 p.m. on Friday (Jan. 20) near 1300 Crawford Street, along the west side of Clarksville.

Arkansas State Troopers reported that a truck failed to stop at a sobriety checkpoint.

Troopers pursued the truck for about 1.5 miles until it stopped, at which time Pearson tried to drive the truck back onto the highway, but was blocked by a state police patrol car, according to an ASP news release.

Pearson has a court date on the morning of March 3, 2017.

Judge William "Bill" Pearson background according to

Photo from

Photo from

Pearson received his undergraduate degree from Arkansas Tech University in 1981 and earned his J.D. at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1985.

Before becoming a judge, Pearson had a private legal practice in Clarksville for 21 years.

He worked as a public defender for Johnson County and Franklin County and was admitted to the Arkansas Bar in February 1986.

Pearson was elected to the Division 1 judge of Fifth Circuit in Arkansas in 2008 and earns $139,000 a year.

He ran unopposed and won re-election in May, 2014, and his current term is scheduled to end in 2020.

On, the last sentence of his judicial philosophy reads, "my judicial philosophy is that everybody deserves to be treated fairly by the court and impartially by the court, and especially from the bench."


1 Comment

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.