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Groups push for transparency in Solon murder investigation

Deborah Pearl shot, killed after crash
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Posted at 9:21 PM, Aug 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-31 21:24:29-04

Several members of anti-violence groups across Northeast Ohio gathered in front of Solon City Hall Wednesday evening to call for transparency in a murder case that is gaining national attention every second.

Solon Police said Matthew Desha, 29, shot and killed 53-year-old Deborah Pearl of Twinsburg following a crash Saturday morning near the intersection of Solon Rd. and Richmond Rd.

Desha, who authorities said ran a red light, was arrested at the scene and later charged with murder in connection with Pearl's death. He is being held on a $1 million bond and his case will be sent over to the Cuyahoga County grand jury.

Friends of Desha said the Marine Corps veteran served two tours in Iraq and suffered from PTSD.

But the groups gathered Wednesday evening wanted to remind the public that Pearl, a mother of three, was the only victim in the case.

"We are concerned about the fact that there seems to be an attempt, and we're not accusing anybody of that, but a spin on this whole situation and tragedy to make him the victim as opposed to her," said Khalid Samad of Peace in the Hood.

Samad called for increased openness as the investigation moves forward, citing a delayed initial release of the suspect's name. Police have not indicated a motive for the crime.