Idaho woman freed from prison arrested on drug charges

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CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) — A southwest Idaho woman freed from prison after serving 12 years of a life sentence for an attack she says she didn't take part in has been arrested.

Police in Caldwell arrested 32-year-old Sarah Pearce on Sunday on suspicion of felony probation violation and possession of methamphetamine.

On Wednesday she was being held in the Canyon County Jail on $10,000 bond.

Pearce was freed from prison in March 2014 after a 3rd District Court granted post-conviction relief and amended Pearce's 2003 sentence to time served after a compromise deal between Canyon County prosecutors and attorneys with the Idaho Innocence Project.

Pearce was one of four people convicted in the roadside kidnapping, beating and stabbing of Linda LeBrane, a Washington state woman left to die alongside her car after it was set on fire.

LeBrane was driving through Idaho on Interstate 84 in June 2000, headed from her Port Townsend, Washington, home to her family cabin in Utah, when she was forced from the road.

Her assailants took her and her car to a secluded road west of Caldwell, where they hit her with a metal baseball bat, repeatedly stabbed and slashed her, and left her for dead next to her car, which they set on fire, authorities said.

When her attackers left, LeBrane rolled away from the burning car and was rescued by passers-by who saw the flames. LeBrane identified Pearce as the ringleader.

Court documents say that on Sunday police responded to a Caldwell apartment complex after a resident reported an unfamiliar person going in and out of a neighbor's apartment.

Authorities say Caldwell Police Sgt. Joey Hoadley found Pearce outside the apartment, that she appeared to be under the influence of a stimulant and that she granted permission to search her.

Documents say Hoadley found a syringe loaded with possible methamphetamine in her jeans pocket plus other drug materials. Also, Hoadley said, she appeared to have numerous injection points on both arms.

The court documents say Pearce denied knowledge of the syringe and said the jeans belonged to someone else, but that person denied owning the jeans.

Pearce is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday for a preliminary hearing.

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