At age 15, she shot and killed a girl that was going to attack her with a baseball bat. "There was only one way to stop her," Pearson recalls. After she was released in 2000, Pearson tried to hold several jobs, but was always fired once her employers discovered her criminal record. At age twenty-four, one of the actors from The Wire discovered her in a nightclub and introduced her to David Simon, who then wrote her character into the show.
So far, this seems like a wonderful Cinderella story that might be a beacon of hope for those who grow up in such an environment of daily violence, poverty, and addiction—her will and a little bit of luck allowed her to rise up out of here "hole." After her success, she gave away most of her heroin and bought a house in a suburb of Baltimore. But this was in 2007, on the eve of the housing crisis. Eventually, the house was foreclosed, and she moved back to Baltimore in a condo not far from where she grew up. In March of 2011, her apartment was raided (interestingly, part of the investigation involved a wire tap on Pearson's phone) and arrested her on charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin.