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Posted on Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 5:20 p.m.

Dillon Pearce to serve 30 days in jail, do community service with Humane Society

By Kyle Feldscher

Ann Arbor teen Dillon Pearce will serve 30 days in jail and perform 500 hours of community service for violating his probation for running over and killing 4 ducklings.

Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge Archie Brown sentenced Pearce Wednesday to the jail time, with no credit for time served for the 14 days he has been held in jail since being arraigned on the probation violation. Pearce will serve a minimum of 2 days of jail per week, in addition to completing at least 100 hours of community service per month with the Humane Society. He was also sentenced to 2 years of probation.

Pearce pleaded guilty last week to violating the terms of his probation by missing 2 required classes, as well as a drug screening on Aug. 10. He has said he missed the drug screening because he was attending a funeral in Saginaw.

Pearce was placed on probation after pleading guilty to running over and killing 4 ducklings and using marijuana in an Ann Arbor McDonald’s parking lot in April. He was originally sentenced to serve 10 days in jail and 1 year of probation.

Thumbnail image for 060911_Dillon-Pearce.jpg

Dillon Pearce

Pearce will also be required to pay more than $1,800 in costs and fees, must participate in a mental health treatment program and was referred to a substance abuse treatment program.

“I take responsibility for what I did,” Pearce said to Brown before being sentenced. “I want to give back to the community and show the community that I can be a good person.”

Pearce was also sentenced on Wednesday to 14 days in jail for a second count of using marijuana, but he was given credit for time served. He will serve no additional time on that charge.

Washtenaw County Assistant Prosecutor Dianna Collins had asked Brown to sentence Pearce to 6 months in jail and to suspend his ability to leave Michigan. Pearce had previously asked the court to allow him to leave the country in order to pursue a professional hockey career.

Collins said Pearce showed a disregard for the law and the court when he missed a drug screening on Aug. 10, which was just 1 week after he was sentenced. Pearce also missed 2 “Thinking Matters” classes on Aug. 11 and Aug. 16.

“He’s not taking this seriously or he is not willing to follow … orders,” she said.

Pearce’s attorney David Nacht disagreed with Collins, calling Pearce “immature” but saying that Pearce does have a respect for the law.

Nacht said that Pearce recognized the killing of the 4 ducklings was disturbing to the community and that he himself was disturbed by the incident. He said Pearce has tested negative for drugs during every screening that he has shown up for since his sentencing, including a screening during the week that he attended the funeral in Saginaw instead of complying with the drug test.

Nacht said that Pearce made a judgment call when deciding to attend the funeral of a former hockey teammate’s sister in Saginaw instead of going to take the drug screening. It was not the act of someone with blatant disregard for the law, Nacht said.

“He has not been so extreme and so full of callous disregard to suggest that he is the type of person who shows contempt for the law,” Nacht said.

Nacht declined further comment after the hearing was complete. Pearce’s parents also declined comment.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 10:57 p.m.

Finally, more justice for this sadistic duck killing whipper snapper! And he was smoking the marijuanas too? I can't say I'm surprised. * Sarcasm ends here * This kid is probably Ann Arbor's public enemy number one (or at least 2011's most hated man/teen/kid/etc.) thanks to this chain of stories. I'm sure Archie Brown was aware of that and decided to 'get tough' on duckling killers like him by giving the harsh penalty of weekends in jail. Aw jeez, looks like the sarcasm didn't end there after all. * Sarcasm officially ends here, I promise * In all seriousness, hopefully this marks an end to this saga. DIllon Pearce has been convicted, reviled in the community, the Internet, and the media around the nation for his crime. This whole situation is probably a credit to our community, though. An uncaring baby duck killing youth is our highest profile criminal in years. It makes me feel safe to know that people like this are our biggest concerns in our community as far as criminals go. Hopefully the rapist(s) accused of those assaults this year are caught, because I'd much rather see them behind bars than berate some kid for animal cruelty.


Sat, Sep 10, 2011 : 4:58 a.m.

I have some tires that I'd like you to meet

Peter Eckstein

Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 6:23 p.m.

Judge Brown's ruling seems well calibrated--enough to represent real punishment and incentive for reform, not too much to prevent the boy's rehabilitation. I've followed the case as much as anyone, but isn't it now time to let the boy alone to seek a better way of life without the constant attention of the rest of the community?


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 5:29 p.m.

They should put his parents right along side of him for bringing up such an irresponsible jerk.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 1:33 p.m.

2 days a week in jail is much better than 30 straight days. 2 days a week in jail at a specific time gives him ample opportunity to skip-out to a attend another "funeral that he thought he had permission to attend" *wink-wink*. This will give the boy a chance to show that he can follow someone's (Judge's) rule for any length of time. What are the odds that he won't show on time, won't show at all or will fail a drug test? Let's just say that it will at least give us an opportunity to have a different mugshot with this continuing saga. On a sadder note, I love the energy of the staff at HVHS; hope they keep this distinctive mug in back.

Marilyn Wilkie

Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 12:50 p.m.

I agree with Chris 8 on how he will serve the sentence. "30 days over a period of time should knock some sense into his head. He will be subject to strip searches and admissions procedures every time he enters the jail. He will also be given a reminder two days a week for a while what the law means. " I feel that this is a stricter punishment than 30 days straight. I also agree with his mandatory work time at the humane society. Hopefully seeing the misery of some of the cases will ignite a spark of humanity in him. My wish is that everyone be aware of animal abuse and report it immediately. We must advocate for the helpless. This case made me heart sick.

Mush Room

Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 12:32 p.m.

Let's see here, 44 days in county lockup will cost us about $2,400; that's a few dollars more that what I pay in winter taxes. I'm just thrilled that my entire winter tax payment is being used to reform a duck killer.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 12:27 p.m.

I agree with grimmk. 2 days a week? 3 hots and a cot. Sound like a cheap hotel with the rest of the week at home.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 3:31 a.m.

Good Job Judge Brown! Glad this is over, and hope I don't have to hear anymore, or see his face. (unless I visit HVHS) I hope he doesn't care (PUCKS) on his person.

tom swift jr.

Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 2:33 a.m.

I hope this brings an end to this, only because I don't have to look at that photo again.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 2:28 a.m. can someone only be in jail for two days a week? What's the point of that? Oh, I think I"ll take tuesday and thursday off next week... Are you kidding me? He should stay in jail for the time allotted.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 1:45 p.m.

On the contrary I think serving a 30 day sentence two days at a time could be quite an inconvenience. I think most would like to do it at one time to get it over with (especially being young and not really having a career or full time job). But to a young person stretching it out like this is a punishment in itself. I say well done.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 1:25 a.m.

I agree with the sentence. However, how is it that this guy (see article below) only gets probation? <a href=""></a>


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 1:24 a.m.

I'm pretty sure that this IS the sentence for Mr. Pearce, not the sentence on a violation of probation since he was not on probation until today. Kyle, you may want to pay a little better attention to what is actually happening if you are going to cover the courts for


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 3:38 a.m.

Reread the 4th paragraph which clearly states he was originally sentenced to less time in jail and a year probation, but he violated the terms of that probation by missing a drug test. The 30 days in jail is the new sentence resulting from that violation. You might want to pay a little better attention to what is actually written if you are going to submit a snarky comment.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 12:16 a.m.

I find it ironic that he is being sentenced on a day that is being considered the most tragic in the history of hockey.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 11:53 p.m.

What particularly makes this case memorable is when Pearce's attorney made all kinds of public denials of guilt early on and claiming possession of numerous witnes staementss of Hummer occupants exonerating Pearce and indicating that Pearce was trying to &quot;rescue&quot; the ducklings. I do not know how many people actually believed that claim.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 2:08 p.m.

A2comments, the statements were not the attorney's own, they were Dillon's. The attorney's job is to present his client's claims and his client's case in the way the client wants.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 11:25 a.m.

Terrin, the attorney made false statements. That is lying. Nothing about defending your client is supposed to include lying.

Terrin Bell

Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 2:06 a.m.

Don't blame the attorney. An attorney's job is to represent the client, and make sure the system treats the client fairly.

Caleb Kruzel

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 11:49 p.m.

I disagree with many people's comments and think that the United States is in dire need of Criminal Justice reform.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 11:39 p.m.

I hope that Mr. Pearce will go forward realizing Judge Brown was fair and just with his sentence. I hope that his ordered &quot;mental health program&quot; will help him identify the roots of his heinous and cruel behavior, and hopefully stop him from even worse acts in the future.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 11:30 p.m.

You forgot to put his title 'Duckling Killer' in the headline in front of his name. Come on guys you're slipping

Chris 8 - YPSI PRIDE

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 11:29 p.m.

Perfect justice for someone his age. 30 days over a period of time should knock some sense into his head. He will be subject to strip searches and admissions procedures every time he enters the jail. He will also be given a reminder two days a week for a while what the law means. These are the rules of society and when you break them you pay a price, eventually the loss of your freedom. I do not agree with a permanent felony conviction. He did do something very disturbing, but to pay the price for the rest of his life doesn't solve anything. It will disqualify him from many opportunities for the rest of his life and a life sentence of persecution from society does not fit the crimes he has committed. Remember he is still young, and putting him on the right track may not work so well if he is denied the right to earn a decent honest living. If I were in his shoes, I would be looking for some kind of work, and also looking into changing my name and leaving the area.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 12:02 a.m.

Having a permanent felony conviction is likely the biggest victory the prosecution extracted in the plea bargain. That conviction has the power to cramp his style for years to come. An immigration visa, gun permit, military commission, many types of professional and occupational licenses, law enforcement employment, and jobs requiring a security clearance can all be denied. Also no telling what it could do to his ability to play hockey - especially in crossing the border to Canada.

Tom Joad

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 11:25 p.m.

Good luck getting into Canada with a conviction for drugs. His hockey career is effectively over. Those are the kind of bad decisions youth make when using marijuana. That is why it's imperative to toughen the medical marijuana laws in this state.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 2:05 p.m.

Marijuana use IS bad decision-making.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 12:25 p.m.

Get high. Make bad decision. They go hand in hand.

Terrin Bell

Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 2:04 a.m.

Nice try. Marijuana use has nothing to do with his poor decision making.

John A2

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 11:21 p.m.

Thank You Very Much, I&quot;m sure Judge Brown has the right idea this time. Also lets hope that just being around, and working with animal lovers will give him some new light. Great Sorry by the way.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 10:45 p.m.

Suggested community service: goose crap detail..... by hand... no gloves.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 10:46 p.m.

At Gallup Park. Sorry, dinner's burning...........


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 10:39 p.m.

I am baffled by his community service placement - you would never put someone who killed their child in a crisis nursery. Can someone explain? (and yes, I know the ducklings are not equivalent to children in many people's minds, so no need to preach on that point, please)


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 10:32 p.m.

Good work, Judge Brown!


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 10:31 p.m.

Many in Ann Arbor have no doubt been waiting a long time for this day.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 10:23 p.m.

Overall, it was a fair and even-handed sentence by Archie Brown. Justice was done. This case made international news. It is now time for every one to move on. One thing is important to realize is that because of the marijuana conviction as a second and separate charge, Mr Pearce shall not be eligible for relief under the expungement statute in Michigan after five years as he ordinarily would have been with just the animal cruelty conviction - so the felony conviction will stay. The dropping of the civil infraction municipal pot ordinance by the City Prosecutor and having the County Prosecutor charge it as a state law misdemeanor was a stroke of genius. Also the name of Dillon Pearce will go down in the annals of Ann Arbor history due to the notariety of this case. It is now up to him to learn from this experience.

John of Saline

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 10:36 p.m.

Too bad for him his name is so distinctive. If he were John Smith it'd be easier to live down, as internet searches would not turn up this case in the top of the results.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 10:23 p.m.

If he does do his community service at HSHV, I hope he is not permitted any animal contact. Two days a week in jail? Why not serve the entire sentence in one 30 day block?


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 10:34 p.m.

It's so that he can acquire or keep employment.

Bruce W

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 10:22 p.m.

Thank You Judge Brown, we need people like him to learn a lesson and not get away with disrespecting the law.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 12:18 a.m.

But the fellow who non-fatally injured La Bamba the Parrot got nine months in jail. Why the difference?


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 10:18 p.m.

As a humane society volunteer I have real problems with his mandatory service there, although i have little doubt that he'll never get to the &quot; contact with actual animals &quot;stage since even volunteers with altruism ( rather than lethal malice) toward animals have to put in alot of hours on 'scut work' ( laundry, poop scooping, cage cleaning etc ) before they are allowed hands on contact with the furry and feathered inmates.......


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 8:11 p.m. make a valid theoretical point re the difference between pets and wild animals. perhaps sentencing him to the detail that deals with the skunk distemper problem ( in another story) would be more appropriate...


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 6:26 p.m.

Forget the humane society as they are PETS, he needs to learn to appreciate wildlife, how about the DNR or a rehab facility? there's that new zoo on Jackson. Eitherway, someone better keep an eye on him!!!!! Who knows, maybe he'll start a support group for jerks like him and that guy who killed the goose....Dexter bears....etc.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 12:18 p.m.

Maybe some actual contact with the animals would be useful, though. Maybe spending time with some animals that are in need of help will make him realize that like humans, animals are sentient beings capable of suffering. Besides, I highly doubt he'd hurt any animals at the humane society anyway. It'd be tough to spend any significant time there and not come away with a new respect for the needs of these less fortunate animals. Might be good for him.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 2:25 a.m.

Being in the laundry room at the HS is a good punishment. gloves. :)


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 11:16 p.m.

hmm, my first thought was, &quot;Bet the humane society folks are just thrilled to hear that, were they even consulted about this decision?&quot;

John A2

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 11:16 p.m.



Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 10:08 p.m.

Mr. Pearce's actions speak louder than his attorney's words.

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 10:07 p.m.

By now, he should understand that every time he makes a poor decision, several NHL general managers put a little red x next to his name on their potential draft lists. But rather than forcing him to work at a place that probably doesn't want him, perhaps his community service could include a new mug shot for Maybe one wearing a duck suit?


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 11:09 p.m.

Definitely Anaheim.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 9:49 p.m.

Great news to hear. !! Enjoy lockup bud !!