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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

August 17, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Suspects in Everett slayings could face federal death penalty

The Associated Press and Times staff

PORTLAND– A couple accused in a three-state killing spree last fall, including the slayings of an Everett couple, now face federal hate crime charges alleging they killed four people as part of a white supremacist campaign.

Amanda Marshall, the U.S. attorney for Oregon, said Friday that a federal grand jury has indicted 32-year-old David “Joey” Pedersen and 25-year-old Holly Ann Grigsby on federal racketeering charges. Convictions on the new charges could bring a federal death penalty, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Marshall says Pedersen and Grigsby are accused of going on their rampage to promote a movement that would “purify” and “preserve” the white race.

The 24-page indictment alleges that Pedersen and Grigsby robbed their victims to finance their white supremacist movement, stole their cars to escape and killed them to eliminate witnesses.

The indictment also states that Pedersen had researched the names and addresses of Jewish organizations in Seattle, Portland and Sacramento, Calif., to identify potential targets for elimination.

“He possessed a draft‘press release’ to alert the media about the purpose of the planned murders,” the indictment states.

Pedersen pleaded guilty in Snohomish County Superior Court to killing his father and stepmother. He faces life in prison.

Grigsby is still awaiting trial in Snohomish County. She confessed during a five-hour videotaped interview with Oregon state police, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Craig Matheson wrote in a probable cause statement last fall.

Police allege that after killing Everett residents Red and Leslie Pedersen last fall, the couple drove Red Pedersen’s SUV to Oregon, where they shot and killed 19-year-old Cody Myers and stole his car.

Grigsby told police they shot Myers “because his last name made them think he was Jewish,” according to charging documents. Prosecutors said Grigsby claimed she and Pedersen planned to drive to Sacramento, Calif., to “kill more Jews.”

The couple also are suspected of killing Reginald Alan Clark, 53, an African-American man who was found shot to death in the back seat of his pickup in Eureka, Calif.

Pedersen and Grigsby were arrested Oct. 5 in Yuba City, Calif.

Peter Mazzone, one of Grigsby’s attorneys in the Snohomish County prosecution, said he learned of the federal indictments Friday morning.

With Grigsby now accused in federal court with racketeering, conspiracy and gun crimes that could bring a federal death penalty or life in prison, Mazzone said he understands the state charges will be dismissed next week.

He said that the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office had already decided to not seek a death penalty against Grigsby. Mazzone said he hopes federal prosecutors will arrive at the same conclusion.

Whether Pedersen and Grigsby will be eligible for a death penalty prosecution will be determined later by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Portland.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Everett, hate-crime, U.S. Attorney's Office

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