Teen suspects in Keizer murder to appear in court

Teen suspects in Keizer murder to appear in court
Brett Pearson (left) and Robert Miller

KEIZER, Ore. — Authorities say the teenage son of a Keizer woman and a friend of his will be tried as adults on charges of killing her and seriously wounding her husband.

They say the sentencing law known as Measure 11 requires that for murder and other charges the 17-year-olds face. The duo also faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder and attempt to commit murder.

Brett Pearson and Robert Daniel Miller II are scheduled to appear in court Friday afternoon.

Pearson's mother, Michelle Yvonne Pearson, was killed Wednesday night at the family home. His father, Wilfred "Bill" Pearson, is expected to survive multiple gunshot wounds, police said.

Police took Brett Pearson into custody around early Thursday morning after an officer spotted him driving in Keizer. Investigators took Miller into custody after they learned he was at a Salem hotel.

Keizer Deputy Chief Jeffrey Kuhns said investigators believe the shootings were planned, and both teenagers fired.

Kuhns said the father's life may have been saved because the house's alarm was activated when the teenagers fled. The alarm company called, the father answered, and an ambulance was dispatched.

On Friday afternoon, the family of Bill and Michelle Pearson released this statement:

"We are shocked and heartbroken by the tragic events of March 5, 2014, that resulted in the passing of our wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend Michelle Y. Pearson. Michelle was the heart of our family and we ask for privacy as we grieve this loss and as we provide love, prayers, and support to our son, father, and friend Bill (Wilfred) Pearson as he recovers from his injuries.

We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of kindness and love for our family and would especially like to thank our faith communities for their continuing support and prayers.

At this time, we are not prepared to grant media interviews. Thank you for honoring our request to privately grieve and pray for all of our family members."