Accused duckling killer Dillon Pearce pleads guilty to charges
A 19-year-old hockey player accused of using a Hummer to run over four ducklings in a McDonald’s parking lot is settling his case without a trial.
Dillon Pearce pleaded guilty last week in Washtenaw County Trial Court to charges of killing or torturing an animal and using marijuana. He will be sentenced Sept. 7.
According to a police report of the April 25 incident, Pearce and two passengers stopped at the drive-thru of the McDonald’s restaurant at 2625 Plymouth Road, where Pearce initially came to pick up food around 6:15 p.m. He drove into an adjacent parking lot for about 15 minutes to eat.
Debra Bell, the restaurant’s manager, told police a customer called earlier to tell her a nest of ducklings was near the drive-thru. Concerned the young birds could be hit by a car, Bell and a shift leader moved the nest behind a Dumpster on the building’s west side.
Bell saw Pearce and the Hummer in a nearby parking lot as she moved the nest and said the men inside were watching her.
Bell said she looked on as the Hummer pulled out and turned back into the McDonald’s lot, where Pearce ran over four ducklings as the other men inside laughed.
Those birds were found dead at the northwest entrance of the property and Pearce was arrested at a nearby gas station. A small medicine bottle containing marijuana was found in the Hummer’s center console. (Watch video footage of Pearce’s arrest here).
Pearce, who has been trying to launch his hockey career while dealing with the court system, asked a judge in June for permission to move out of the country to pursue his career internationally. That request was denied, but court documents show Pearce was granted permission to travel to a tournament in Boston from July 27-Aug. 1.
His parents were to accompany him on the trip, documents show.