Sarah Kathleen Pearce, freed from prison last year amid national publicity, is back in jail — this time in Ada County.
The 33-year-old Homedale woman was arrested by Boise police late Sunday night on felony drug charges after an officer found prescription pills and syringes containing a substance presumed to be meth in her possession. Jail personnel found two more prescription pills hidden on Pearce, adding a third felony charge for allegedly bringing drugs into a jail, police said.
She was jailed under the name Sara Kathleen Evaines but on Monday was arraigned on those charges under the name Pearce. Bond is set at $50,000, and her preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 28.
The incident marks the third time this year Pearce has been arrested on drug-related charges, according to Idaho court records. A May charge of possessing meth in Caldwell was dismissed after the substance police found in a syringe was determined not to be an illegal drug. In late September, she was charged with misdemeanor drug paraphernalia possession in Gem County; a pretrial hearing is set for Dec. 22.
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Pearce spent nearly 12 years in prison in connection with a savage attack on a motorist passing through Canyon County in June 2000. She consistently denied guilt, and the Idaho Innocence Project championed her cause, prompting reconsideration of her sentence. She was not exonerated, but in May 2014 her sentence of 15 years to life was amended to time served and five years probation. Her story was featured in a two-hour “Dateline NBC” program.
If found guilty of violating her probation, Pearce could be sent back to prison on the original charges. An arraignment on a November probation violation charge is scheduled for Dec. 18 in Canyon County.