To read recent accounts of state Senate President Russell Pearce's lawbreaking son Joshua Pearce, you'd think he'd only caught six days in stir for violating terms of his probation on a 2007 aggravated DUI conviction.
In reality, Pearce the Younger had already spent close to two months in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's gray bar hotel before a judge ruled on his case in a March 30 probation revocation hearing. He was arrested way back on February 9.
This prodigal (and criminal) son had been facing serious time in the state pen, but he basically cut a deal, admitted to the probation violation, and earned another six days in county before being released this week. The judge fined him more $3,700, and tacked on 30 hours of community service.
Senate President Pearce did not come to the aid of his wayward offspring. A public defender was Joshua's attorney, meaning that the taxpayers picked up the tab for Joshua's defense.
The probation violation report on record with the court described the series of events that landed Pearce in the hoosegow.
It states that "since his placement on probation it appears the defendant has struggled with prescription drug use and has entered detoxification programs on several occasions."
Further down, it notes that, "Results from a drug test submitted on December 10, 2010 showed the defendant testing positive for methadone and morphine, which he failed to disclose or provide a valid prescription."
Then Josh missed a January 26 court date for a mental health review. The report states that Josh told his parole officer, "he was considering revoking his probation grant and serving his time in the Department of Corrections."
When he missed the court date, he left "a voice message indicating he was in the hospital."
His failure to appear triggered the bench warrant that got him pinched.
Josh has had numerous run-ins with the law, and was recently investigated for possible child abuse in a December incident that left his infant daughter hospitalized with a skull fracture.
The child's injury occurred on December 10, the same day the failed drug test was submitted. Officers who interviewed Joshua on that day described him as groggy, lethargic and smelling of alcohol. Josh admitted to being on Xanax and Percocet.
Though Mesa investigators believed Josh was not being truthful to them about the newborn falling out of a "bouncy chair," they declined to seek prosecution for lack of evidence.
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Josh's drug use has been well documented in other encounters with Mesa law enforcement. In the DUI that earned him the 2007 conviction and five years probation, he had his infant son in the car with him. Regarding his pot use, he told the cop that he liked to "wake and bake."
In a 2005 incident where he got into a fight with two men and fled police in his car, officers found a pipe with residue. Josh admitted to arresting officers that "he smokes as much marijuana as he can get." He had a bac of 0.15 and tested positive for THC.
On January 25, Josh's wife of three years, Samantha Pearce, filed for divorce, seeking sole of their three children.
Not surprisingly, she's requested that Josh's parenting time be supervised because of Josh's "over medication, addiction/dependency."