Girl dies weeks after crash near South San Pedro, DUI suspect faces new charge

Parnall Law News Team

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — A 37-year-old man is expected to remain in jail nearly two months after a crash in east Albuquerque that fatally injured a 10-year-old girl and left her father critically hurt, reports KOB4.

The fatal wreck occurred at the corner of San Pedro Drive Southeast and Bell Avenue Southeast on Tuesday, March 22, just before 8:00 a.m.

Authorities said the man, who was said to be high on meth, was operating a stolen state government SUV when he ran a stop sign. The SUV then collided with a vehicle occupied by the victim and her father.

The girl, who was rushed to a local hospital, suffered multiple serious injuries and was left unable to breathe without medical support. She was pronounced deceased three weeks later.

Her father remains hospitalized as he recovers from a traumatic brain injury.

In the wake of the young victim’s death, the district attorney’s office has revised charges against the suspect to include “homicide by vehicle.” The suspect, John Bearden Jr., was arraigned on the new charge Monday, May 8. In lieu of a formal reading of the new charges, Bearden entered a “not guilty” plea.

On that same Monday, Judge Joe Montano upheld an order made by Judge Stan Whitaker in April to keep the suspect in jail until his case is completed, citing a danger to the community. Ever since Bearden’s first arraignment, his lawyer has made it known that they would like to enter plea negotiations with the state.

After a tragic loss, our compassionate team of New Mexico wrongful death lawyers at Parnall Law Firm is personally motivated in helping families like yours fight for maximum compensation. Get the support and legal expertise you deserve by reaching out at (505) 985-5355 or via our contact form to book a free case review.