Posts tagged: Holly Grigsby
EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — A man pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of aggravated murder in the deaths of his father and stepmother after a prosecutor decided not to seek the death penalty.
David”Joey” Pedersen, 31, is set to be sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole, the only other possible sentence, The Daily Herald reported (http://is.gd/oCxIAI ).
Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe has not yet announced a decision on whether to seek the death penalty for Pedersen's girlfriend, Holly Grigsby, 28, who also was charged with aggravated murder in the September killings of 56-year-old David “Red” Pedersen and 69-year-old Leslie “DeeDee” Pedersen.
The prosecutor said he declined to pursue the death sentence for Joey Pederson after police turned up significant and credible evidence that his father had sexually abused his children and others decades ago. Joey Pedersen said the abuse was the reason he chose to kill his father.
Joey Pedersen and Grigsby, who have white supremacist ties, also are accused of killing 19-year-old Cody Myers in western Oregon because his name sounded Jewish, and Reginald Clark near Eureka, Calif., because he was black. Those crimes potentially could result in federal prosecution because of civil rights issues.
Red Pedersen was shot once in the back of the head while he drove the suspects to a bus station in Everett after a visit. His son was accused of firing the fatal shot. Investigators believe the suspects then returned to the couple's home to kill DeeDee Pedersen.
Investigators found her bound with duct tape with her throat slashed. The evidence suggests Grigsby wielded the knives, court papers said.
DeeDee Pedersen was not married to Red Pederson (pictured right) at the time of the alleged child abuse and was in no position to prevent or even know about it, Roe said.
Family members of the victims did not agree with the prosecutor's decision against seeking the death penalty, even though Roe said it would have been appropriate.
“They were disappointed, but I believe understand my decision and my reasons for it,” Roe said in a statement.
Joey Pedersen was an aspiring mixed martial arts fighter. He grew up in Salem, Ore, and spent more than half of his life in prison, including an 11-year stint for threatening to murder a federal judge in Idaho. He was released in May.
After the homicides, investigators said he and Grigsby drove to Oregon in Red Pedersen's Jeep and ditched the vehicle with the slain man still inside off a logging road. Authorities believe they crossed paths with Cody Myers, who had left home to attend a jazz festival near the Oregon coast. Myers, a devout Christian, turned up dead from multiple gunshot wounds.
Investigators believe the couple continued to Eureka, where Clark, a disabled black man, was killed.
The suspects were arrested Oct. 5 north of Sacramento.
(AP) EVERETT — Lawyers spent more than two hours arguing whether a woman charged with murder should be allowed to eat Cocoa Puffs and other snacks while in the county jail, the Everett Herald reported Tuesday.
And they're not done. Another hearing is scheduled for March, when a judge is expected to decide if jail staff must allow the woman access to the Snohomish County Jail's commissary, the paper said.
Attorneys for Holly Grigsby and David “Joey” Pedersen have filed motions complaining about jail conditions and that their clients are not allowed to use the jail store to supplement their meals. A hearing on the complaint went on for more than two hours Monday.
The pair are accused of killing Pedersen's father, David “Red” Pedersen, and his wife, DeeDee, of Everett, last September. Police believe the pair also killed two other people — an Oregon teenager and a disabled California man — in October before their capture in northern California.
Staff at the Snohomish County Jail said that inmates like Grigsby and Pedersen are denied commissary rights since they are maximum-security prisoners and because sugary snacks can be used to make jailhouse alcohol. Grigsby wanted to buy Cocoa Puffs and coffee.
Grigsby defense lawyer, Pete Mazzone, said it violates his client's constitutional rights to deny her access to the commissary based on the nature of the charges against her.
The Herald said Grigsby has received several violations since she's been incarcerated, including trying to brew alcohol in her cell.
Grigsby and Pedersen are white supremacists who reportedly claimed they wanted to “kill more Jews.”
GENE JOHNSON,Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) — A boyfriend-and-girlfriend duo suspected in a murder spree that left four people dead in three Western states are expected to be returned to Washington state within a month to face charges that could bring the death penalty.
David “Joey” Pedersen and his girlfriend, Holly Grigsby, waived their right to an extradition hearing during a brief court appearance Tuesday in Yuba County, north of Sacramento, where they were arrested last week. The pair, who have expressed white supremacist beliefs, is suspected of killing his father, David “Red” Pedersen, 56, and his wife Leslie, 69, about Sept. 26 in Everett, Wash., and, later, two other people, including a 19-year-old man they believed was Jewish.
The pair was charged Monday in the Pedersens' deaths with aggravated first-degree murder in Snohomish County, Wash. Aggravated first-degree murder is punishable in Washington state only by execution or life in prison without release. Prosecutors have not determined whether to pursue the death penalty.
According to a prosecutor's affidavit in support of those charges, authorities have recovered bloody clothing, a knife and stolen credit cards that they believe the couple dumped in an Oregon trash can while on the run.
Grigsby told police she and her boyfriend were heading to Sacramento, Calif., to “kill more Jews” when they were arrested last week in California, the affidavit said.
If true, that could be a basis for federal hate-crime charges. Emily Langlie, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle, confirmed Tuesday that her office had been in touch with counterparts in Snohomish County as well as federal prosecutors in other states to determine where the pair should be prosecuted.
Read the rest of the Associated Press story by clicking the link below.
By GENE JOHNSON,Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) — Authorities have recovered bloody clothing, a knife and stolen credit cards that they believe were in the possession of a couple accused of going on a deadly crime spree across the Pacific Northwest, according to an affidavit.
Prosecutors also say that one of the suspects, Holly Grigsby, claimed that she and her boyfriend, David “Joey” Pedersen, were heading to Sacramento, Calif., during their spree to “kill more Jews” when they were arrested last week in California. Pedersen is pictured right.
The pair, who have expressed white supremacist beliefs, are suspected of killing his father, David “Red” Pedersen, 56, and his wife Leslie, 69, about Sept. 26 in Everett, Wash., and, later, two other people, including a 19-year-old man they believed was Jewish.
The couple fled the state and, on Sept. 29, police found a backpack inside a garbage can in Corvallis, Ore., a deputy prosecutor wrote in a probable cause statement filed Monday in Washington state.
Inside were the bloody clothing, a knife and four credit cards belonging to the elder Pedersen and his wife, authorities said.
The couple faces charges of aggravated first-degree murder. They could face the death penalty if convicted. Their appointed attorney, Donald Wahlberg, said he did not know anything about the case beyond what had been reported.
In interviews with a reporter and police, the couple said they killed Pedersen's father because he molested two young relatives and killed his wife because she knew and still supported him.
Grigsby, 24, confessed during a five-hour, videotaped interview with Oregon state police, Snohomish County, Wash., deputy prosecutor Craig Matheson wrote in a probable cause statement.
Grigsby said the couple planned to travel from Oregon to visit Red Pedersen (pictured left) and his wife — and then kill him by shooting him in the back of the head as he was driving them to a bus station.
She said she was in the passenger seat and took the steering wheel after her boyfriend fired a shot to the back of his head. They then drove to the Pedersens' home in Everett.
Grigsby said she herself slit Leslie Pedersen's throat, and they headed south in Red's Jeep with his body inside.
They ditched the car off a steep embankment, and killed Cody Myers (right), who was on his way to a jazz festival on the Oregon coast, because his name sounded Jewish, according to Matheson's affidavit. Myers was a devout Christian.
When she was arrested, Grigsby said “the couple was on their way to Sacramento to 'kill more Jews,'” Matheson wrote.
Grigsby and Pedersen were arrested outside Yuba City, Calif., when a police officer spotted them in Myers' car. Authorities had been tracking them by use of stolen credit cards and had warned police in several states to be on the lookout for them.
Pedersen, 31, initially refused to talk with police, but on Saturday, he reconsidered.
He admitted murdering a man in Eureka, Calif., on Oct. 3 or 4, the probable cause statement said. The crime matched an open investigation into the death of Reginald Alan Clark, 53, who was found dead with a bullet wound to the head.
Police have not suggested a motive, but Clark is black.
On Sunday, Joey Pedersen, who has spent nearly half his life in prison, summoned a reporter for a California newspaper, the Appeal-Democrat, to the jailhouse for an interview and took “full responsibility” for “everything that's been reported.”
He said he killed his father because he had molested his older sister and an adopted cousin when they were young; that they had killed his dad's wife because she knew about the molestation but still supported him.
Pedersen said he expected to be charged with killing the “dead Negro” because “the bullet from my gun is in his head.”
Joey Pedersen has an extensive criminal history, having spent from age 16 to 31 behind bars, except for a one-year stretch. His convictions include assaulting a police officer and threatening a federal judge. He was released from prison in May.
Grigsby also spent time in prison beginning in 2006 for a variety of charges, including identity theft and unauthorized use of a vehicle. After completing probation, she served two years for identity theft. Even in prison, she got into trouble, including for assault.
Both share an interest in white supremacist ideology. Pedersen prominently displays a white supremacy tattoo on his neck. Grigsby's white supremacist leanings were made clear to fellow inmates at Oregon's women's prison.
Four homicide victims – including an African-American man shot in the head at close-range in Eureka, Calif. – are now being linked to a jailed couple with extensive criminal records and white supremacy beliefs. Read Bill Morlin's report for the Southern Poverty Law Center here.
Here's a report from the Associated Press:
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man and his girlfriend have admitted to killing the man's father and stepmother in a 5-day crime spree that authorities said ultimately left four dead across the Pacific Northwest.
David Joseph Pedersen, 31, (pictured) told a California newspaper in a story published Monday that he killed his father and was responsible for the three other killings in Washington, Oregon and California. His 24-year-old girlfriend, Holly Grigsby, separately described to investigators in Washington state how she killed Pedersen's stepmother using two knives.
The crime spree began last month, as Pedersen's father drove the couple to catch a bus in Everett, Wash., according to Grigsby's statements to police. Pedersen shot his father from behind as Grigsby took control of the vehicle, she said. The couple then returned to the father's home, where Grigsby stabbed Pedersen's stepmother with the knives, she told authorities. Leslie Pedersen, called “Dee Dee” by friends and family, was found with a bloody pillow wrapped around her head.
The couple said Pedersen's father, David Jones “Red” Pedersen, was targeted because he allegedly molested his daughter and a niece when they were younger.
Grigsby told authorities the stepmother, Leslie Pedersen, was killed because she didn't do anything about the alleged molestation.
“I felt it was my responsibility to make sure it didn't happen again,” the younger Pedersen told The Appeal Democrat in a jailhouse interview. He said Grigsby was involved in the slayings only under duress and shouldn't be held responsible for the deaths.
Everett police Sgt. Robert Goetz said officers have not yet looked into the molestation allegations but planned to do so. He said evidence collected so far indicates much of Grigsby's story could be plausible.
Attempts by The Associated Press to reach Pederson at the Yuba County Jail were not immediately successful Monday.
The deaths of Pedersen's father and stepmother led the couple to the logging roads of Oregon, where authorities said they dumped the father's Jeep with his body still inside.
While in Oregon, police said they also fatally shot 19-year-old Cody Myers, who had been attending a jazz festival outside the coastal town of Newport. Police said Myers was shot in the head and chest. Pedersen and Grigsby were arrested last week in Myers' car outside Sacramento.
A fourth body, that of a 54-year-old man, was found with a gunshot wound to the head in California on Friday. Police in Eureka linked Reginald Alan Clark's death to the couple, but didn't release details. Clark is pictured at right.
Pedersen and Grigsby have pleaded not guilty to charges of weapons possession and vehicle theft, and their bail was set at $1 million. They are expected in court Tuesday for an extradition hearing. They have not been charged in the killings.
Their appointed attorney, Donald Wahlberg, said he did not know anything about the case beyond what had been reported.
In the days after Leslie Pedersen's body was found, suspicion quickly fell on her stepson and his girlfriend. David Joseph Pedersen has an extensive criminal history, having spent the ages of 16 to 31 behind bars, except for a one-year stretch. His convictions include assaulting a police officer and threatening a federal judge, and other disciplinary infractions included assault, extortion, disobedience, harassment and destruction of property.
Grigsby also spent time in prison beginning in 2006 for a variety of charges, including identity theft and unauthorized use of a vehicle. After completing probation, she served two years for identity theft. Even in prison, she got into trouble for assault and possession of contraband.
Both share an interest in white supremacy ideology, with Pedersen prominently displaying a white supremacy tattoo on his neck. Grigsby's white supremacist leanings were made clear to fellow inmates at Oregon's women's prison.
California Highway Patrol Officer Duane Nokes takes David Joseph Pedersen into custody following a traffic stop on Marysville Road and Gettys Court near Yuba City, Calif. on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Appeal Democrat, David Bitton)
A white supremacist suspected of murdering two people in Washington and Oregon was convicted of threatening to kill an Idaho-based federal judge in 2001.
David Joseph Pedersen, 31, was sentenced to two years in prison in December 2001 after pleading guilty to mailing threatening communications and threatening to assault and murder U.S District Judge Edward Lodge and mailing threatening communications.
The case was prosecuted in Ada County. Retired Spokesman-Review reporter Bill Morlin has more at the Southern Poverty Law Center's Hatewatch blog.
According to the Associated Press, the paths of a teenager who called his mother daily and Pedersen and his girlfriend, who were fleeing a murder scene in Washington state, crossed in Western Oregon's Willamette Valley less than a week ago.
The teenager who had thoughts of joining the ministry was found dead, the victim of “homicidal violence.” The two people who commandeered his car — subjects of a manhunt in the death of a Washington state woman and disappearance of her husband — threw up their hands in surrender to police on Wednesday.
An Oregon sheriff called their weeklong road trip by down the West Coast “a vicious, vile reign of terror.” After days of searching on land and air, a California Highway Patrol trooper with a lingering doubt about the white sedan with Oregon plates arrested Pedersen and his girlfriend, Holly Grigsby (pictured right).
Someone stumbled on the teenager, 19-year-old Cody Myers, in the woods in western Oregon on Tuesday. Relatives and friends say he was studious, religious and caring.
“Cody was devoted to his family. He would've done anything for anybody to help anybody,” said Myers' mother, Susan Myers. “He had passion for life, for God, for his beliefs. He didn't deserve this.”
Exactly what took place in the woods west of Corvallis, Ore., and outside Philomath near Mary's Peak is unclear. Police know that Grigsby and Pedersen were spotted by a camera at a convenience store on Sunday, where they used a stolen credit card.
The card belonged to Pedersen's stepmother, Leslie Pedersen. She was found dead on Sept. 28. His father, David Jones Pedersen, is still missing.
A martial-arts expert with a prominent white-supremacy tattoo on his neck, Pedersen spent the ages of 16 to 31 in one form of incarceration or another, save for a one-year stretch in the mid-2000s.
Even while in prison, Pedersen couldn't avoid trouble. Major disciplinary infractions included assault, extortion, disobedience, harassment and destruction of property.
Grigsby, whose white supremacist leanings were made clear to her fellow inmates at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, also found herself in trouble in prison, getting written up for assault and possession of contraband.
Sought in the slayings of Pedersen's stepmother, they went south, to Oregon. Pedersen's father's Jeep went missing with them, and police assume it has been abandoned somewhere in Oregon.
Grigsby was dating Pedersen, but is married to Dannel Larson of Portland, Ore. He told The Associated Press his wife is simply gullible, the victim of a person capable of manipulating her into doing things she never would otherwise
“That man,” Larson said, “took her on a road straight to hell.”
They somehow came into contact with Myers, who worked two summers for a relative's construction company, said the company's owner, Mike Klein. When the crews would go on the road, Myers (pictured) would call his mother at least once a day.
Myers' parents, brother and sister and other relatives were at a Wednesday night press conference in Salem where police confirmed the body that had been found was the missing teen's.
Myers' mother, Susan, cried at times. Her daughter, Brittany Klein, handed her tissues.
Details remain unclear. Pedersen and Grigsby have been named “persons of interest.” They were found with handguns and rifles, all of them loaded, but police have not said how Myers died.
Pedersen and Grigsby come from a world inhabited by convicts, violence and white supremacists.
Grigsby's father, Fred Grigsby of Portland, said his daughter had been involved with white supremacists, and also had battled drug addiction.
“She went to treatment. I thought she got her life together,” he told The Associated Press.
Grigsby spent time in prison for a variety of charges beginning in 2006, including identity theft and unauthorized use of a vehicle. After completing probation, she was again sentenced in 2008 on identity theft charges and served two years.
Her boyfriend, Pederson, has a white supremacist tattoo on his neck and convictions dating back to 1997. He was first convicted of robbery at age 16 in Marion County, Ore. and has a spent a total of 13 years in prison for felony offenses that include assault and robbery and sending a letter threatening to kill Judge Lodge.
Pederson was released from prison this past May. His time free of bars and handcuffs lasted 134 days.
On Wednesday afternoon, California Highway Patrol Officer Terry Uhrich was on a routine patrol in rural Yuba County. He spotted a woman standing next to a parked vehicle, three of its doors open. A man was inside the car.
“I pulled up to the side of them, just thinking they were needing assistance or something like that. I asked the female if they were all right. She said they were fine, she was stretching,” Uhrich told The AP. “It kind of hit me that dispatch had put out a BOL about an hour and a half before — be on lookout for a stolen vehicle out of Oregon and it had a male and female out of it.”
He ran the license number and confirmed it was Cody Myers' vehicle, then began following the couple as they drove slowly down the road. After about two miles, they turned into a side road leading to a church, and Uhrich followed them.
Uhrich turned on his patrol car lights, got out and, using his door as a shield, drew his sidearm and ordered them to turn off the engine. They complied, keeping their hands where he could see them. They occasionally leaned over and kissed.
Other officers arrived within minutes and arrested the couple, finding a rifle and two handguns inside the stolen car. The handguns were within reach of the suspects.
They were taken to a Yuba City police department holding cell to await interviews by the Oregon State Police and Everett, Wash., police.
Uhrich said they acted tranquil, “like they knew it kind of was over.”
Uhrich drove Grigsby in the back of his patrol car, while Pederson was taken in a separate car.
Along the way, said Uhrich, Grigsby sang along to a song on the radio — “not a worry in the world.”
By JONATHAN J. COOPER and NIGEL DUARA,Associated Press
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A weeklong manhunt for a couple wanted in the slaying of a Washington state woman and the disappearance of an Oregon teenager ended Wednesday with their arrest on a Northern California highway.
David Joseph Pedersen and Holly Grigsby are suspects in the killing of Pedersen's stepmother in Everett, Wash., Sept. 28 and in the disappearance of a 19-year-old Oregon jazz fan last seen Saturday on his way to a music festival on the coast.
The body of a young man was found Tuesday night in a wooded area of the Willamette Valley, but authorities said they had not yet confirmed his identity.
The arrests north of Sacramento left unanswered the question of the whereabouts of Pederson's father, David Jones Pederson, who was last seen 700 miles to the north, in Everett.
The 31-year-old son and Grigsby, his 24-year-old girlfriend, were pulled over after a Highway Patrol officer spotted a white Plymouth Breeze that Cody Myers had been driving when he disappeared last weekend.
“I don't believe there was any resistance,” said Yuba County sheriff's Lt. Damon Gil.
The manhunt started when David Joseph Pedersen's stepmother, Leslie Pedersen, was found slain in her trailer home in Everett. Her hands had been bound with duct tape and a bloody pillow was around her head. A sword was found nearby.
Myers was last seen when he left his Willamette Valley home for a jazz festival in the Oregon coastal town of Newport.
Investigators said Pedersen and Grigsby had Myers' car Sunday when the woman tried to use a stolen credit card at a Salem, Ore., gasoline station.
The two were expected to be jailed in Yuba City, but one law enforcement official said it was unknown where they would be taken after that.
“All that is yet to be determined,” said Sgt. Robert Goetz of the Everett police.
Grigsby's father, Fred Grigsby of Portland, said earlier Wednesday that his daughter had been involved with white supremacists, but he was unsure whether Pedersen was as well. Mug shots of Pedersen show a tattoo on his neck reading “SWP,” which in prison jargon stands for “Supreme White Power.”
Police have not said whether they suspect any connections between the crime spree and white supremacists.
Fred Grigsby also said his daughter had kicked drug habits she developed as a teenager. “She went to treatment. I thought she got her life together,” he told The Associated Press.
David Joseph Pedersen's convictions date to 1997, when he was 16 and convicted of robbery in Marion County, Ore., according to public records. He spent nearly six years in prison and was released in January 2003.
Less than a month later, he was arrested on charges that included assaulting a police officer in Eastern Oregon's Umatilla County. He was convicted on one count and spent seven years in prison, four of them at a federal prison in Colorado.
In 2000, while Pedersen was an inmate at the Snake River prison in Ontario, Ore., he sent a letter threatening to kill U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge, according to a federal indictment. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years in federal prison and three years of probation. The judge's office declined to comment.
On July 7 this year, Pedersen told his federal probation officer in Portland that he had run out of Zoloft, a medication he was taking to treat depression, according to federal court records. Pedersen agreed to modify his probation documents, adding a requirement that he seek mental health treatment and take medication.
Grigsby spent time in prison for a variety of minor charges beginning in 2006, including identity theft and unauthorized use of a vehicle. After completing probation, she was again sentenced in 2008 on identity theft charges and served two years.
Grigsby's father said his daughter has a 2-year-old son, who is safe with the boy's father.
Cooper reported from Salem, Ore. Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Tim Fought and Terrence Petty in Portland, Ore., and Don Thompson in Sacramento; and news researcher Judy Ausuebel in New York.
Lt. Gregg Hastings of the Oregon State Police, second from the left, speaks during a news conference as Cody Myers' family looks on Wednesday, Oct. 5 2011, in Salem, Ore. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
By NIGEL DUARA,Associated Press
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Investigators in a Pacific Northwest manhunt said they have recovered the body of a young adult and have notified the family of a missing Oregon teenager, although the remains have not been positively identified.
The body was found late Tuesday in a wooded area in Oregon's Willamette Valley, and the evidence shows it was not an accidental death, Lt. Gregg Hastings of the Oregon State Police said Wednesday.
Authorities have been looking for Cody Myers, 19, of Lafayette, (right) who disappeared after leaving Saturday for a jazz festival on the Oregon coast.
The manhunt is focused on David Joseph Pedersen, 31, and his 24-year-old girlfriend, Holly Grigsby, who have been spotted using Myers' car. The couple are suspected of killing Pedersen's stepmother in Everett, Wash., and his father is also missing.
Hastings said Pedersen and Grigsby should be considered armed and dangerous and are believed to be in the Willamette Valley, Oregon's most populous region.
The two have criminal records, and Pedersen was released from prison in May after serving seven years on an assault conviction.
“We want to emphasize the public safety danger these two suspects pose in our community,” Hastings said.
Hastings said investigators have received 29 tips, and a few were promising.
Investigators are looking for a Jeep they believe the pair abandoned and for Myers' Plymouth Breeze, which investigators said Pedersen and Grigsby had on Sunday when the woman tried to use a stolen credit card at a Salem gasoline station.
Pedersen's stepmother, Leslie Pedersen, 69, was found dead Sept. 28 with her hands tied with duct tape and a bloody pillow wrapped around her head. Police said Tuesday they have probable cause to arrest the two suspects on murder charges.
Leslie Pedersen's husband, David Jones Pedersen, was missing, Everett police said.
David Joseph Pedersen's convictions date to 1997, when he was 16 and convicted of robbery in Marion County, Ore., public records show. He spent nearly six years in prison and was released in January 2003.
Less than a month later, he was arrested on charges that included assaulting a police officer in Eastern Oregon's Umatilla County. He was convicted on one count and spent seven years in prison.
Grigsby spent time in prison for a variety of minor charges beginning in 2006, including identity theft and unauthorized use of a vehicle. After completing probation, she was again sentenced in 2008 on identity theft charges and served two years.