Sarah Pearce, 32, of Homedale, saw drug charges — filed against her in May — dismissed this week after lab tests came back negative for a controlled substance, according to the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office.
Pearce was released from prison in 2014 after a settlement led to a change in her sentence for six felonies related to the 2000 beating of motorist Linda LeBrane on Interstate 84 west of Caldwell. LeBrane was attacked by four assailants who comandeered her car, slit her throat, beat her, robbed her, set her vehicle on fire and left her for dead. LeBrane survived.
Pearce was sentenced to 15 years for the attack, but insisted on her innocence. The Idaho Innocence Project took up her case, and the situation was the focus of a “Dateline NBC” program last year.
She was arrested May 10 at an apartment complex and charged with felony meth possession and misdemeanor paraphernalia possession, plus parole violation. She pleaded innocent to those charges.
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They were dropped when lab tests showed what field tests had tentatively identified as meth was not actually a controlled substance, according to Joe Decker, Canyon County spokesman.
The arresting Caldwell police officer filed an affidavit in May stating that Pearce appeared to be under the influence of a stimulant and granted permission for the officer to search her. He said he found a syringe loaded with what appeared to be methamphetamine in her pocket and what appeared to be numerous injection points on the inside of both arms.