Maricopa County Attorney Will Not Charge Sheriff's Deputy In Deadly Crash

June 11, 2014

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery says he will not bring criminal charges against a Maricopa County Sheriff's deputy for his part in a high-speed crash that killed a driver in December.

Montgomery says Sheriff's Deputy Sean Pearce won't face a manslaughter charge in the Dec. 16 crash that killed 63-year-old John Harding, saying a vehicle that was turning ahead of the victim's vehicle blocked the view of the drivers involved in the crash.

Pearce is the son of former state Sen. Russell Pearce, who endorsed Montgomery's 2010 campaign to become Maricopa County Attorney — but the prosecutor says politics did not play a role in his decision not to bring charges.

An attorney representing the Harding family says he intends to ask prosecutors to reconsider the decision not to charge Pearce. Glendale police had recommended prosecutors charge Pearce with manslaughter. He was driving 81 miles per hour moments before the crash in an unmarked vehicle with no sirens. At the time, Pearce was following a suspect in a homicide case.