Charge Donnie L. Pearson, 7455 Snowy Egret PL NW, Albuquerque NM 87114 for the unlawful homicide of Jonathan Mitchell, US Army Iraq War Veteran.
Donnie Pearson and his son entered their vehicle with loaded firearm at 11:23 pm, on March 19, 2013 and begin patrolling the area for alleged armed individual. Pearson never stopped at the supposed neighbor’s house he claimed he was concerned about. Police aviation video shows Jonathan Mitchell in his own garage on Sanderling, while Pearson’s vehicle was slowing driving on Sanderling going west on said street. Pearson then drives past Jonathan's residence, turns around and then proceeds east with the vehicle's headlights off, driving down a dark Sanderling road. Donnie Pearson's vehicle stops in front of Jonathan Mitchell’s driveway on Sanderling, directly in between the two cars parked in the driveway and shoots, Jonathan Mitchell, a 23 year old US Army Iraq vet dead. Donnie L. Pearson was the aggressor and Jonathan Mitchell responded as he perceived a threat against his life. According to New Mexico's self-defense laws, Donnie Pearson cannot avail himself of a self-defense plea.
“Under New Mexico law, the defendant's perception of the threat must have been reasonable. Armed pursuit of an individual through a dark neighborhood does not show reasonable fear or perception of threat.”
The rule in New Mexico is that “a defendant who provokes an encounter, as a result of which he [or she] finds it necessary to use deadly force to defend himself [or herself], is guilty of an unlawful homicide and cannot avail himself [or herself] of the claim that he [or she] was acting in self-defense.” Lucero, 1998-NMSC-044.
The District Attorney's office has yet to charge Donnie Pearson for the killing of Jonathan.