By KATIE McLAUGHLIN and GRACE WONG
WELLINGTON, Kan. (Court TV) — A judge dismissed charges against a Kansas mother facing criminal charges more than four years after she fatally stabbed her boyfriend. Ashley Pearson claimed self-defense at a stand your ground hearing on Monday.
When the stabbing occurred in September 2018, Sumner County District Attorney Kerwin Spencer declined to press charges because he believed Pearson was a victim of domestic violence who had killed Kyle Hill in self-defense. However, after Spencer retired in 2021, new chief prosecutor Larry Marczynski looked into the case at the urging of Hill’s family and charged Pearson with second-degree murder.
According to members of the community and others who knew Pearson and Hill, the couple had a volatile relationship, and Hill was prone to violent outbursts, particularly when he drank. According to hospital emergency room records, Hill had broken Pearson’s jaw in June 2018.
On the night he died, Hill met his mother for drinks to celebrate her birthday at a neighborhood bar. He returned to the home he shared with Pearson, the couple’s son, and Pearson’s daughter from a previous relationship after midnight on September 15, 2018. The couple reportedly had a fight.
Hill, 25, a convicted felon and registered violent offender, allegedly beat Pearson and threatened her toddler daughter. Pearson said she grabbed a knife off the countertop and got between Hill and the little girl to protect the child. Pearson, now 33-years-old, admitted she frantically swung the knife at Hill in efforts to stop him from advancing.
Hill suddenly stopped. He died of a single stab wound to the heart.
Pearson’s Stand Your Ground hearing was expected to span several days, but the judge dismissed the charges after one day of testimony, which included Hill’s mother and grandmother taking the stand.