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Jax Beach Suspect Returned To Duval Co.

Charles Pearce Named Person Of Interest In Killing

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The person of interest in a Jacksonville Beach killing was returned to Duval County from Arizona on Thursday night.

Charles Pearce was booked into the Duval County Jail nearly three weeks after he was arrested. At his first appearance Friday, Pearce was ordered held on $1.3 million bail on a charge of aggravated assault.

Border Patrol officers found Pearce asleep in his van in Yuma, Ariz., about 3 a.m. Feb. 20.

Officers found a bolt-action rifle with five rounds in it, a 13-inch knife and a computer hard drive in the van, according to an arrest report.

According to the report, before Pearce was taken to jail, he asked the officers, "What if the hard drive contained evidence of (my) innocence?"

Detectives wanted to question Pearce about the shooting death of retired firefighter Michael McCue, 42, last month.

Pearce, 30, is also a suspect in an aggravated assault that happened within an hour of the killing one block away.

He was being held on a fugitive warrant.