Onetime Arizona fugitive sentenced to 28 years for attacking camper

Sep 17, 2021, 6:30 AM
(Gila County Sheriff's Office Photo)...
(Gila County Sheriff's Office Photo)
(Gila County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PRESCOTT, Ariz. — A 44-year-old Prescott man who fled in 2019 while on trial for a brutal attack on a camper has been sentenced to 28 years in prison, authorities said.

Robert David Pearsall III absconded two days before jurors in his Yavapai County Superior Court trial convicted him on attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault charges.

Judge Tina Ainley sentenced Pearsall on Wednesday.

The events leading to his conviction occurred in September 2018 when Pearsall struck the victim, whom he did not know, on the head multiple times with a large board in a remote camping area near Perkinsville, authorities said.

The severely injured man likely would have died but for emergency aid provided by other campers, including trained firefighter paramedics, the county attorney’s office said in a statement.

Pearsall fled the scene but surrendered days later, then took off the next year while on trial.

He was on the run for over two years before he was arrested July 22 in Payson. Pearsall had been living there living under an alias, officials said.

Pearsall remains charged with failure to appear in the 2019 court proceedings and also likely faces additional charges. He had two guns and methamphetamine on him and assaulted the Payson police officer who had stopped him for a traffic violation, authorities said.

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Onetime Arizona fugitive sentenced to 28 years for attacking camper