Veteran with PTSD, accused of Solon murder, charged in Boardman

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – A North Ridgeville man accused of a fatal shooting in Solon is now facing charges in Mahoning County.

Matthew Desha, 29, was indicted by a Mahoning County grand jury last week on improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle, aggravated possession of drugs and illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia charges. The charges stem from his arrest in Boardman on May 30.

Last month, Desha was charged with killing 53-year-old Deborah Pearl, of Twinsburg, after running a red light and hitting Pearl’s car at a Solon intersection. Police say Desha shot Pearl multiple times with an AR-15 rifle.

Reports said the shooting may have been linked to his post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis. The Associated Press reported that Desha did not know the victim, but said he was receiving treatment for PTSD after serving two tours in Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps.

Prior to the fatal shooting, Boardman Police stopped Desha for traffic violations in May and said he appeared nervous. Desha told an officer that he suffers from anxiety and was looking for his medication when he abruptly turned into a bank parking lot.

A probable cause search revealed four loaded handguns in the vehicle, as well as suspected drug residue and paraphernalia, according to a police report. Desha told police the powder found in the vehicle was a mixture of Epsom salts and powdered caffeine.

Desha was arrested and released on $2,000 bond.

He is now in custody for the Solon murder charge, and a hearing date has not yet been set on the local charges.


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