Not much is known about Pearson's past. He became Cooley's accomplice in high school, when he, Cooley and Max Liston drugged and raped a woman named Marla together. When Liston and Pearson, thinking she was dead, were about to bury her on Cooley's ranch, she woke up and escaped. As she ran, Cooley told her that nobody would believe her.
Liston and Pearson, with whom Cooley stayed in touch, were apparently at least partially involved in the killings. Pearson, who got a law degree and the right to practice, became Cooley's lawyer. Liston, with some financial aid from Cooley, got into the construction business.