A military veteran, who shot and killed a woman after crashing into her car in Solon, has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.
Matthew Desha, 32, appeared in court Thursday morning and was ordered to spend the rest of his life in a secured mental health facility for the murder of 53-year-old Deborah Pearl. He will receive a medical evaluation every two years at North Coast Behavioral clinic in Northfield, OH, according to his attorney Tom Shaughnessy.
Solon Police say Desha failed to stop for a red light, crashing into a Pearl’s vehicle just before 7:30 a.m. Aug. 27, 2016.
Police say Desha then exited his vehicle with a rifle after it overturned several times before allegedly shooting the other driver, Deborah Pearl, 53, of Twinsburg.
Pearl later died at the hospital.
People who knew Matthew Desha say he suffered the effects of war. Desha, who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), served as a Marine and his neighbors say after he came back from a tour in the Middle East he told them he heard voices, and he thought people were after him. They say they knew he needed help.
Shaughnessy says three different doctors conducted a psychiatric evaluation on Desha and found he was mentally unfit and did not know the wrongfulness of his actions when he murdered Pearl.
“There is no greater tragedy than what occurred here. Mr. Desha took the life of an innocent citizen, the citizen of the same country that Mr. Desha swore to fight to protect,” Shaughnessy said.
Pearl’s son, Derryo, believe Desha should spend of his life in prison and not at mental facility. He thinks Desha did understand what he was doing when he killed his mother.