The Mesa Police Department has released its full report of the investigation into an incident involving the infant daughter of Joshua Pearce, son of state Senate president Russell Pearce.
As I reported first on this blog, and later in a January 6 Bird column, the Mesa PD responded to a call on December 10 from Banner Desert Medical Center involving a skull fracture sustained by the child.
According to Mesa PD spokesman Sergeant Ed Wessing, doctors told police that Joshua and his wife Samantha's explanation for how the injury occurred did not jibe with the injury's severity.
Wessing has said that the Mesa PD will not file charges, but the report is being forwarded to the office of Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery for a final call.
The report itself contains various details regarding the incident. (You can read the entire report, after the jump.)
The couple's children were in Joshua's care at the time, as he played games on his PC and looked up "UFC fights." He tells detectives that the baby was in a "bouncer" or "bouncy" seat, about five feet behind him, when he heard crying.
He looked and saw his other children on the ground with the baby, "kicking" at her. He said he picked up the child to comfort her, then Samantha came in the room and took the child from him. And they later transported the baby to a hospital. (Samantha and Joshua have three children from their union, according to the report, and Samantha has one more that's not Joshua's.)
Investigators found a few problems with his story. The statements of the other children do not dovetail with those of the parents. The bouncy chair in question was found in the backyard, with "a thick layer of dust and dirt on it." Questioned about this, Samantha stated that the kids must have moved it from inside the residence.
Also, medical personnel called into question the parents' accounts. Asked if "the story fit the injury," a Dr. Albuquerque at the pediatric ICU, stated, "That injury could not have been cause[d] by the two children."
Police reviewed the medical records with a forensics doctor at Phoenix Children's Hospital, who noted "concerns of the differing accounts by Joshua" on how the injury was sustained, "as well as Joshua's slurred speech and lethargic behavior during contact with medical staff."
Samantha told police that Joshua takes numerous medications, including Xanex, Prednisone, Atenolol, and Percocet. Joshua admitted that he is currently unemployed and told investigators that he was getting over pneumonia, for which he'd be prescribed some of the meds.
One of the children told investigators the following:
"He said his dad does not work and during the day he just usually stays in bed. When asked why his dad stays in bed so much, [the child] said, 'He's tired a lot.'"
The report states that Child Protective Services was involved, and on the night of the incident, placed Joshua and Samantha's other children with their grandmother, Russell Pearce's wife LuAnn.
However, a supplemental narrative dated January 18, states that,
"As of this writing, the Pearce children were removed from Samantha and Joshua's home and placed in foster care and Joshua is currently in a drug rehabilitation facility in Arizona."
I should note that Joshua was crying during much of the time he spoke with the Mesa PD.
Although I know how to contact Samantha Pearce, she asked me not to call her again after I asked her for a comment back in December. So I will comply with her request.
Wessing has informed me that Mesa cops have had several run-ins with Joshua over the years. More than 20, Wessing told me. As I get more info on those, I'll share.
In the meantime, read the latest report yourself, here.
And look, here, for Joshua Pearce's other run-ins with the Mesa PD.
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