Jess Hoeme’s Stand-Your-Ground Victory to be Featured on A&E’s Accused: Guilty or Innocent?

Published: 1 May 2024

                    JHC criminal defense attorney Jess Hoeme prepares his defense of Ashley Pearson in his Wichita office.

WICHITA, Kan. – Joseph, Hollander & Craft criminal defense attorney Jess Hoeme will be appearing in an episode of A&E’s “Accused: Guilty or Innocent?” featuring his work obtaining an order of immunity from prosecution for Kansas mother, Ashley Pearson. (The episode airs live on Thursday, May 2, 2024, and will be available for streaming the following day.)

Attorney Jess Hoeme appears in A&E’s “Accused: Guilty or Innocent?” on May 2, 2024 at 9/8pm central. Image used with permission. Click to watch the trailer.


The case arose from the 2018 fatal stabbing of Pearson’s then-boyfriend, Kyle Hill. Pearson always asserted her conduct was undertaken in defense of herself and her child, and the county attorney in office at the time of Hill’s death elected not to proceed with criminal charges. However, when a new county attorney took office four years later, Pearson was arrested for second-degree murder. With these new charges looming, Hoeme took on Pearson’s case in August of 2022.

Fascinated by the case, A&E reached out to inquire about filming the defense preparations for an episode of the documentary “Accused: Guilty or Innocent?” The episode, which debuts Thursday, May 2, 2024, at 9/8c dives into the complexities surrounding the case and the debates that followed the initiation of a prosecution four years after Pearson thought the matter had been settled.

Hoeme’s appearance in the episode includes interviews about the case, as well as footage from the August 2023 stand-your-ground hearing where Hoeme argued Pearson was immune from prosecution because her conduct was justified according to Kansas law regarding self-defense and defense of others. Unbeknownst to Hoeme and Pearson before the hearing, CourtTV was also set up in the courtroom to air the entire hearing live. Despite this surprise and the attention on the case, however, Hoeme remained calm and strategically laid out his defense work through eyewitness statements and cross-examination.

Convinced of Hoeme’s arguments, Judge William Mott permanently dismissed the case against Pearson. Through tears, the Kansas mom expressed relief for the victory that gave her and her children their freedom back. As Hoeme told reporters, “Justice was served.”

In addition to Hoeme, the episode will also feature JHC attorney Rylee Broyles, who served as second chair at the immunity hearing and assisted in preparing Pearson’s immunity defense.

For more insight into this case and the documentary, check out Carrie Renger’s article with The Wichita Eagle, where she interviews Hoeme about his experience filming the documentary. Make sure to tune in to the episode on Thursday, May 2 at 9/8c (streaming free to all viewers the next day) on A&E.

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