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Marine may have been intoxicated at the time of Solon crash, shooting

Posted at 5:29 PM, Sep 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-02 18:12:06-04

The Marine accused of fatally shooting a woman after a crash on Saturday was distracted and may have been under the influence of drugs and alcohol, according to police documents. 

Matthew Desha — a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who was twice deployed to Iraq — is charged with murder in the slaying of Deborah Pearl. He is accused of shooting Pearl, 53, with an assault rifle moments after their cars collided in a Solon intersection. 

Solon police think Desha, 29, may have been under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the crash, according to a police report obtained by Newsnet5.com. Test results have not been officially returned. Desha also made an improper lane change and was distracted moments before the crash, the documents said. 

Pearl was not impaired.

According to the documents and a diagram outlining the crash, Desha was traveling eastbound on Solon Road when he entered the left turn lane and passed several vehicles before entering the intersection on a red light. Desha was struck by Pearl, who was traveling northbound on Richmond Road. The two cars collided in the four-way intersection of Solon and Richmond roads, causing Desha's vehicle to flip several times. 

Desha was driving at the 35 miles per hour speed limit. Pearl was traveling at 20 miles per hour at the time of the crash. 

On May 30, Desha was charged with carrying a concealed weapon following a traffic stop in Boardman, Ohio. Police found a Taurus 9mm handgun under the driver's seat and drug paraphernalia. According to that police report, Desha was nervous and told officers he suffers from anxiety and is a former heroin addict.