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Arkansas Circuit Judge Suspended after Police Chase
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Summary: An Arkansas judge was suspended after running a sobriety checkpoint and being chase by police for over 1 mile before being blocked in by patrol cars.

A circuit judge was suspended with pay the Arkansas Supreme Court after he was arrested following a police chase last week. William M. Pearson , a Johnson County judge in the 5th Judicial Circuit from Clarksville ran a sobriety checkpoint and had to be chased.


The order to suspend Pearson came from the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission and was fulfilled by the state’s Supreme Court. The 5th Judicial Circuit is comprised of Johnson, Pope, and Fanklin counties. The four judges split up the cases by criminal, civil, juvenile, probate, domestic relations, and drug court. Pearson handled all the criminal cases, 40 percent of the civil cases in Franklin and Johnson counties and 20 percent of the civil cases in Pope county.

The Arkansas State Police picked Pearson up for driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, fleeing and refusal to submit to a chemical test. Pearson failed to stop at a sobriety checkpoint on Arkansas 103. He continued driving his pickup for another 1.5 miles before troopers were able to pull him over. Pearson even tried to get back on the highway but a patrol car blocked his path.

Pearson posted $1,400 bond and will be back for his next hearing on March 3.

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Administrative judge Ken D. Coker Jr. asked for a substitute judge to be appointed to cover Pearson’s workload. Retired Pulaski County Circuit Judge John Langston was assigned on Tuesday to handle Pearson’s criminal case. All other judges in the circuit recused from hearing his case. Fifth Judicial Circuit Prosecuting Attorney David Gibbons plans to ask Langston to appoint a special prosecutor to prosecute Pearson so there is no conflict of interest.

Do you think it is fair that he is suspended with pay when he clearly did something illegal? Tell us in the comments below.

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