Ark. Supreme Court Suspends Circuit Court Judge Following DWI Arrest

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JOHNSON COUNTY (KFSM) — The Arkansas Supreme Court suspended Fifth Judicial District Circuit Court Judge William Pearson on Thursday afternoon (Jan. 26), following the recommendation of the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission.

Arkansas State Police arrested Pearson on suspicion of DWI and fleeing the night of Jan. 20, according to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.

Pearson was arrested about 9:30 p.m. near 1300 Crawford Street, along the west side of Clarksville, according to ASP. Troopers reported a truck failed to stop at a sobriety checkpoint and they pursued it for 1.5 miles before it stopped. Pearson then tried to drive the truck back onto the highway, but was blocked by a trooper’s patrol car, according to ASP.

Pearson paid a $1,405 bond and was released more than 12 hours later, jail records show. He has a court date set for March 3.

Pearson presides over cases in Johnson, Pope and Franklin Counties and has been a Fifth Judicial District Circuit Court judge since 2008. As Division I Judge he maintains all the criminal dockets for all three counties in his district.

In a unanimous vote Wednesday, the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission decided the charges against Pearson adversely affect his ability to perform his judicial duties and will petition the Arkansas Supreme Court to temporarily suspend the judge with pay pending the outcome of any disciplinary determination.

1 Comment

  • cecilfrank

    Now hold on a minute. You first reported he was only in jail for 3 hours. Now you’re reporting more than 12 hours. BY LAW, an individual who is arrested for DWI has to spend a minimum amount of time in jail to dry out. Its not 3 hours, more like 6 or 8 depending on what they blew on the test. This man refused to blow so he should get a minimum of at least 8 hours.

    “”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).””

    I would be willing to bet just because of who he is, he bonded in 3 hours. The over 12 hours comment, I suspect, is an attempt to back-peddle as this case has gained statewide attention and somebody screwed up.

    If in fact he was released after only 3 hours, he will more than likely beat the DWI and refusal to submit charges.

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