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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: white supremacists

Killing spree linked to white supremacy movement

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A couple accused in a three-state Northwest killing spree last fall 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 racketeering charges.

She says they're accused of going on their rampage to promote a movement that would purify and preserve the white race.

Pedersen has pleaded guilty in Washington state to killing his father and stepmother. He could face life in prison. Grigsby is awaiting trial.

The other victims were an Oregon teenager and a black man in Northern California.

Supremacist in terror plot sentenced

A man with ties to white supremacists who bragged about wanting to kill President Barack Obama received a 13-year sentence Thursday for a weapons charge, the latest conviction in what his lawyer called “a running battle with the government.”

 Wayde L. Kurt, 54, also told associates he was saving money for a “final solution” that would include a bombing to dwarf the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and put him in jeopardy of the death penalty, according to court testimony.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

Nov. 17: Feds: Indicted racist had terrorism plans

No death penalty for racist double killer

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.

ast coverage:

Feb. 12: Murder spree suspeect wants Coco Puffs

Oct. 10: 4th victim identified in alleged murder spree

Oct. 6: Racist in murder spree threatened to kill Idaho judge

Oct. 5: Couple in NW. manhunt arrested in Calif.

Oct. 5: Body found in manhunt may be that of teen

Murder spree suspect wants Cocoa Puffs

(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.”

Past coverage:

Oct. 10: 4th victim identified in alleged murder spree

Oct. 6: Racist in murder spree threatened to kill Idaho judge

Oct. 5: Couple in NW. manhunt arrested in Calif.

Oct. 5: Body found in manhunt may be that of teen

Spokane racist guilty of beating inmate

A Spokane white supremacist scheduled to be released from federal prison last month was convicted today in Oklahoma of assaulting another inmate.

Keegan Chance Van Tuyl, 29, likely will be sentenced at least four months from now for the charge of inflicting serious bodily harm against another inmate, a clerk for U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot said today.

Friot convicted Van Tuyl after a brief bench trial today in Oklahoma City.

A grand jury indicted Van Tuyl Sept. 20 for the attack on another inmate at the federal transfer center in Oklahoma City on Dec. 1, 2010.

Van Tuyl punched the inmate several times then stomped his face several times after he fell to the floor, according to the indictment. The incident was captured on surveillance video.

In a letter to The Spokesman-Review, Van Tuyl said the inmate was a sex offender, writing “no good deed goes unpunished.” The victim's criminal convictions could not be independently confirmed.

Van Tuyl recently finished serving a sentencing in maximum security federal prison for violating his probation on a firearms conviction.

Online prison records list him as being released, but he actually was transferred to Oklahoma to face the assault charge.

A member of Van Tuyl's racist group, James D. Bacon, was involved in a similar assault while in custody in Spokane.

Extremist in fire faced child rape charge

Investigators work the scene where a day earlier Steven Stanbary used a gun to hold off police and firefighters while a house burned to the ground in Washougal, Wash. on Dec. 8. (AP Photo/Zachary Kaufman, Pool)

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — A white supremacist with Idaho ties who is suspected of killing his wife and her sister and shooting at firefighters before he died in their burning home on Dec. 7 had been scheduled to surrender the next day to face a child rape charge, authorities said.

 Authorities didn't know before the incident that suspect Steven D. Stanbary of Washougal had a history of being heavily armed, schizophrenic, anti-government and violent, Clark County senior deputy prosecutor Dustin Richardson told The Columbian in a story Thursday.

“Had that been clear, the whole process of having an attorney turn him in … might have been different,” Richardson said.

Before the fire, Richardson had just a basic criminal history that showed Stanbary had only misdemeanor convictions because more serious charges had been reduced by plea bargains or other circumstances.

It was later learned that police in Idaho had discovered six AK-47s and a grenade launcher in Stanbary's possession during a 1994 arrest. But that case was dropped to a minor assault in a plea deal.

In addition, information emerged that Stanbary had stopped receiving treatment for delusional schizophrenia in 1988 when he refused to take medications. At that time, his then-wife, Debra Hughes, told Idaho police she believed he was dangerous.

Richardson said he might have changed his plans for letting Stanbary turn himself in through his attorney if the records had shown a pattern involving weapons. However, police generally don't seek more information on criminal histories of suspects unless the cases show a specific pattern of criminal behavior or dishonesty, he said.

The prosecutors credited the media for bringing those additional details to light after Stanbary's violent death.

Reports released Wednesday show Washougal police suspect Stanbary molested a girl over a number of years beginning when she was 9 and ending several years before she reported it in December 2010.

Richardson had concerns about several aspects of the case and said he didn't believe he had strong enough evidence to charge Stanbury until late November. Stanbary was supposed to turn himself in with an attorney on Dec. 8.

“He obviously had different plans,” Richardson said.

On Dec. 7, gunfire and exploding ammunition kept firefighters away from his burning home. The three bodies were later found inside.

Stanbary's wife, Leona, told police she suspected the girl may have made up the abuse story so she could move out and live with her boyfriend.

“I'll kill him if it happened,” Leona Stanbary told the detective, referring to Steven Stanbary, the police report said.

The girl and her boyfriend said in separate interviews with police that Steven Stanbary was a binge drinker who became nasty when inebriated.

Stanbary was arrested in Bonner County in December 1994 after threatening to kill his ex-wife, children and himself. He was found to have numerous weapons, including AK-47s.

Man arraigned on racist fraud allegation

A man already facing up to 10 years in prison for a gun conviction pleaded not guilty today to identity theft charges that prosecutors say were part of a white supremacist-related terrorist plot.

Wayde Lynn Kurt, 53, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of aggravated identity theft, two counts of unlawful production of an identification card, two counts of unlawful possession of an identification card and one count of making a false statement. The last charge is related to Kurt allegedly using a fake identity to obtain a Post Office box.

He was arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Cynthia Imbrogno in Spokane and is in custody at the Spokane County Jail without bail.

Kurt was arrested in August 2010 for being a felon in possession of a firearm for  five firearms he possessed while target shooting with a white supremacist, David Johnathan Udseth, who was secretly recording him for the FBI. A jury convicted Kurt last month. He denies being a racist and old jurors he spoke of a racist plan with Udseth only to infiltrate the group because its members had assaulted a friend, and he wanted to monitor them.

Prosecutors say Kurt said he was producing fraudulent identification cards for a “task” for which he had been preparing for years.

Kurt said “he would need 30 days to establish a new identity, noting the name 'Wayde Kurt would only a bring a bad reputation to a publicly exposed political movement,'” according to court documents.

FBI: Indicted racist had terrorism plans

A reputed white supremacist convicted last month of a gun charge related to an alleged domestic terrorism plot has been indicted by a grand jury for an alleged identity theft scheme.

Wayde Lynn Kurt, 53, is accused of producing fraudulent identification cards for a “task” for which he had been preparing for years, according to a briefing federal prosecutors wrote for his gun trial last month.

Kurt likened the plan to the Oklahoma City bombing and said he would do everything in his power to stop President Obama from being reelected, prosecutors say.

Kurt said “he didn't want innocent people to die but it was possible they would die,” according to the briefing. Kurt “stated that it would be an act of terrorism of the worst kind and would mean a death sentence if he was caught.”

Kurt wrote a letter to an FBI informant in May 2010 discussing the need to establish a white government based on the gold or silver standard, prosecutors say.

“Kurt also wrote that he would need 30 days to establish a new identity, noting the name 'Wayde Kurt would only bring a bad reputation to a publicly exposed political movement,'” according to the trial briefing.

A jury in U.S. District Court in Spokane convicted Kurt last month of felon in possession of a firearm for five firearms he possessed while target shooting with a white supremacist, David Johnathan Udseth, in August 2010, according to court documents.

Kurt told jurors he spoke of a racist plan with Udseth only to infiltrate the group because its members had assaulted a friend, and he wanted to monitor them. He denies being a white supremacist, said his lawyer, Richard Wall.

Kurt alleges Udseth and the FBI entrapped him, but Judge Wm. Fremming Nielsen ruled not reasonable person would believe that prohibited jurors from considering the entrapment defense during deliberations.

Wall expects Kurt will appeal his conviction.

“If he had given that instruction the jury would have acquitted him,” Wall said. “Without the entrapment instruction the only thing they could do was convict him because there was no question he was in possession of the weapons at one point.”

Kurt was arrested on Aug. 30, 2010. He was considered such a risk that the FBI didn’t give him a chance to surrender - an agent ran up and tackled him. He faces up to 10 years in prison at his sentencing, which is scheduled for Jan. 26.

Now he faces new charges of aggravated identity theft, two counts of unlawful production of an identification card, two counts of unlawful possession of an identification card and one count of making a false statement under a grand jury indictment filed Wednesday. The charges carry up to 15 years in prison.

Kurt was a member of a racist group led by Keegan VanTuyl, 29, (right) who was released from federal prison last week after serving time for violation his probation on a firearms conviction.

Kurt was recruited into the group in late December 2008 after exchanging a racist greeting with key member Daniel “Church” Wilson (left) when encountering him and other group members in downtown Spokane, according to the trial briefing. The group “routinely traveled around Spokane looking for minorities to bait into a verbal and/or physical altercation, a practice referred to by group members as “coon hunting.”“

 Kurt was asked to become the leader of the group after VanTuyl and Wilson were imprisoned, but the group instead disbanded, prosecutors say.

The jury deliberated just a few hours Oct. 21 before convicting Kurt, who has been in jail since his arrest. The conviction is the latest for a convicted currency counterfeiter whose experience with the criminal justice system dates back to at least 1988, when he was acquitted of murder in Snohomish County.

Udseth was sentenced to three years probation Wednesday in U.S. District Court for manufacture of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana in relation to 90 plants and six pounds of harvested pot found during a search at his home in May.

Udseth said he had a medical marijuana card, according to his plea agreement, but such a card only authorizes 15 marijuana plants and a pound and a half of marijuana, and federal law doesn't recognize medical marijuana.

Racial slurs, ‘KKK’ costume lead to arrest

A woman was arrested on suspicion of a hate crime on Halloween after a black man told Spokane police he opened his front door to her yelling racial epithets while wearing a white sheet with “KKK” written on it.

Sharyl Ann Curtis, 42, also sprayed a liquid at Tyree Brown's children that she said was bleach that would make everyone white, according to a probable cause affidavit written by police in support of a malicious harassment charge against Curtis. (Curtis is pictured courtesy KHQ-TV. Check out their interview with her here.)

Police found Curtis sitting in a park near Brown's home in the 5000 block of North Lacey Street “yelling unintelligibly.”

While being treated at a hospital, Curtis allegedly told police “I will raise my son white power” and used a racial slur while raising her right arm in the air, according to the affidavit.

“My son will shoot a cop one day and I will give them the ammo,” Curtis also allegedly said, along with repeated racial epithets against the police.

Brown told police he'd heard a woman yelling racial epithets and asking if he had candy. The sheet fell off when the woman walked down the apartment stairs, and Brown recognized Curtis “from fights and other incidents in the neighborhood.”

Brown's two children were standing in the stairwell when Curtis sprayed the bottle toward them. None of the liquid hit them, but police observed a Halloween decoration that was splashed. Witnesses said Curtis ran to the nearby park and yelled that she would get a gun and shoot everyone. A neighbor confronted her and a fight ensued before police arrived, according to the affidavit.

Curtis left the Spokane County Jail after posting bond imposed during her first court appearance on Tuesday, according to online jail records. She was arrested on a malicious harassment charge last August after a neighbor told police Curtis yelled racial slurs and started a fight. No charges were filed.

Murder spree suspects headed to Wash.

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.

Supremacists wanted to ‘kill more Jews’

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.

4th victim ID’d in alleged murder spree

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.

Oct. 6: Racist in murder spree threatened to kill Idaho judge

Oct. 5: Couple in NW. manhunt arrested in Calif.

Oct. 5: Body found in manhunt may be that of teen

Racist in murder spree has Idaho ties

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.”

New gun charge for white supremacist

A white supremacist arrested on gun charges last year has been indicted on a new charge related to additional firearms.

Wayde Lynn Kurt, 53, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to being a felon in possession of a firearm for allegedly possessing five firearms on Aug. 21, 2010. Court documents say he's expected to argue at trial that he was entrapped by an FBI informant.

The charge carries up to 10 years in prison. Kurt, who appeared in U.S. District Court Tuesday with long hair and a shaggy beard, has been in the Spoakne County Jail since last August on a felon in possession charge related to three guns; the new, superseding charge comes as prosecutors are preparing for trial next month.

The guns belonged to a confidential informant who was targeting shooting with Kurt on the informant's property. Kurt also brought two of his own firearms to the property, prosecutors say.

Spokane-area investigators believe Kurt, a convicted currency counterfeiter, used fraudulent identities to obtain guns and ammunition. He was considered such a flight risk that the FBI didn't give him a chance to surrender last August - an agent simply ran up and tackled him.

Defense attorneys are expected to argue at trial that Kurt was entrapped by the informant.

Prosecutors have filed documents asking for defense testimony regarding entrapment be limited, pointing to what they imply was Kurt's predisposition to commit the crime. Prosecutors are objecting to a request from the defens to close the courtroom for the testimony of two witnesses, whom reportedly fear retaliation from Kurt's violent white supremacist group, the Vanguard Kindred.

Kurt and the informant left the group in 2009 or 2010, accoridng to court documents.

The informant began working with the FBI in February 2010 as part of an ongoing investigation into the group, documents say.

Prosecutors say the informant recorded Kurt talking about his firearms and plans for improvement.

A judge has not yet ruled on the prosecution's motion to limit defense entrapment testimony.

Past coverage:

Sept. 3: Supremacist with assault rifles to stay jailed

Sept. 1: FBI raid targets man with white supremacist ties

Aryan in hate crime faces 5 years to life

A Coeur d'Alene man and reputed racist faces five years to life in prison if convicted of a hate crime under Idaho's repeat offender law.

 Joel Townsend Diekhoff, 29, an associate of local Aryan Nations member Jerald O'Brien, remains in the Kootenai County Jail on $50,000 bond for malicious harassment.

Diekhoff was arrested Saturday after Demetrius K. Lee, 39, said a white man with several Aryan tattoos yelled slurs and threatened him for walking in front of his house near South 19th Street and East Mullan Avenue

Lee said the man, whom police identified as Diekhoff after interviewing witnesses, came out of the house with three other men to “beat him up.”

Lee returned to the area with a baseball bat and had a heated conversation with Diekhoff before calling police.

Diekhoff has previous convictions for felon in possession of a firearm in Washington state in 2005 and theft in Georgia in 2000, according to court documents filed this week in Kootenai County District Court. Idaho law calls for criminals to serve five years to life in prison for felony crimes if convicted of two previous felonies.

Aryan in hate crime jailed on $50k bond

A Coeur d'Alene man and reputed racist remains in jail on $50,000 after appearing in court on a hate-crime charge Monday.
Joel Townsend Diekhoff, 29, an associate of local Aryan Nations member Jerald O'Brien, was arrested Saturday after Demetrius K. Lee, 39, said a white man with several Aryan tattoos yelled slurs and threatened him for walking in front of his house near South 19th Street and East Mullan Avenue. Lee said he was on his morning walk to Sanders Beach and has lived in the area for six years.

Lee said the man, who police identified as Diekhoff after interviewing witnesses, came out of the house with three other men to “beat him up.”

Lee ran to his friend's house and got a baseball bat, police said, then returned to the area and had a heated conversation with Diekhoff. He then left and called the police.

Diekhoff was holding his baby daughter in his arms when he confronted Lee, police say.

Coeur d'Alene police Sgt. Christie Wood said Diekhoff was a suspect in a battery investigation last November that never led to charges after police heard reports that he beat a man who refused to chase after a black man with him and O'Brien.

The alleged victim, William Moore, said he was staying with O'Brien because of his Aryan ties when the men were outside O'Brien's house on Thanksgiving Day and yelled “White Power” at two men who were walking by. One of the men said he was black, and Diekhoff ran after him as O'Brien followed, according to a police report.

When they returned, they attacked Moore and struck him several times in the head, saying he was angry Moore hadn't backed them up. Moore tried to superglue his head wound but went to the hospital the next day.

O'Brien told police he'd kicked Moore out of his home because “he couldn't be a true Aryan if he would associate with members of the other churches,” according to the police report.

“He called members of other churches 'the enemy' and said there was only one true church.' He then almost immediately calmed down,” according to the report.

Racist knocked out by hate-crime target

A self-proclaimed skinhead was knocked unconscious by a black man after threatening to stab him last weekend in Bayview, Idaho, officials said Friday.

Daren Christopher Abbey, 28, was booked into jail on malicious harassment charge after being treated at a hospital for facial fractures, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department.

Abbey is accused of threatening to stab Marlon L. Baker, 46, inside J.D.'s Resort July 3 in Bayview after telling him he didn't belong in the bar because he was black, said Lt. Stu Miller.

Baker left the bar to avoid a fight, but Abbey followed to a marina about 300 yards away, called him racial slurs and again threatened to stab him.

“He said black people don't belong in Bayview,” Miller said.

Baker punched Abbey once in the face, knocking him to the ground unconscious.

Sheriff's officials already were in Bayview patrolling the Independence Day weekend festival that included a boat parade that night. Miller said they arrived about 8:50 p.m. to find Abbey unconscious.

Abbey apparently was unaware of the writing on the back of Baker's t-shirt: “Spokane Boxing Club champion.”

“If he had been able to read that maybe he wouldn't have done that,” Miller said.

Spokane Boxing Club President Rick Welliver said Baker, who could not be reached for comment, is not affiliated with his organization and is not a boxer.

Miller said Baker acted in self defense.

“He felt threatened - there was an actual threat that was made that he was going to get stabbed,” Miller said. “(Abbey) actually followed him for quite some distance”

Baker told deputies he punched Abbey instinctively as the skinhead approached, Miller said.

Abbey has several neo-Nazi tattoos and told Coeur d'Alene police in 2004 that he was an “independent skinhead” who didn't like minorities, Miller said.

The 2004 contact with police didn't lead to an arrest or citation, Miller said. Miller didn't have details on the reason for the contact but said Abbey's twin brother was there and said he wasn't racist but was in the area helping his brother look for work.

Abbey, of Sacramento, Calif., said he lives as a transient in the Coeur d'Alene area after moving from Montana, Miller said. He remains in jail on $75,000 for felony charges of malicious harassment (Idaho's hate crime law) and battery.

New website aims to help combat gangs

A new website has been launched to help combat gang activity in Spokane County.

The website, developed by the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council and the Spokane Violent Crime Gang Enforcement Team, allows citizens to submit antonymous tips about gang activity.

Tipsters are given a tracking number to check the status of the tip, and law enforcement will be able to tell them whether any actions has been taken or if they need more information.

“Active involvement and communication with the public is extremely important in making this website a success,” according to a news release. “Giving the public a way to be heard and have their tips validated should encourage continual involvement by the community in this gang effort. ”

The website includes information on gangs like the Crips and Bloods as well as outlaw motorcycle gangs and white supremacist groups.

Look for billboards promoting the website through Spokane County.

Visit the website at www.stopspokanegangs.org.

Cookie jar fingerprints lead to arrest

Fingerprints on a cookie container recently helped police identify suspects in a burglary last summer.

A forensic specialist located the print on a container of animal crackers that had been disturbed during a burglary in a home in the 7800 block of North Debby Lynn Circle that occurred between Aug. 16 and Aug. 18.

Police in April learned that the fingerprint belonged to a juvenile, who reportedly confessed in May to burglarizing the home with another juvenile and his brother, Joel N. Ballard, 24, (pictured) and stealing two rifles and two handguns.

Ballard had been in prison since December on drug and car theft convictions but returned to the Spokane County Jail to face new charges of residential burglary, four counts of theft of a firearm and four counts of unlawful possession of a firearm because of previous felony convictions.

He also faces stolen property charges related to the sale of laptop computer stolen in a burglary Aug. 13. The man who bought the computer told police he bought it from a “white supremacist guy with a White Power tattoo,” according to court documents.

Ballard matches that description, police say, including a “white power” tattoo on his forearm.
  

Ex-local Aryan convicted in racist beating

A white supremacist who ran for the Hayden City Council in 2003 has been convicted of a racially motivated attack on a black man in southwestern Washington.

Zachary Loren Beck, 32, (pictured in 2003) was convicted Wednesday of conspiracy to violate civil rights after a bench trial in U.S. District Court in Tacoma. Beck, Kory Boyd and Lawrence Silk attacked the man in January 2010, shouting racial epithets.

Boyd was sentenced to 34 months in prison after pleading guilty to interference with a federally protected right. Silk pleaded guilty to malicious harassment in state court and was sentenced to 24 months. Beck is to be sentenced Sept. 2.

The men were at a bar in Vancouver when Beck told a bartender that the victim should leave “or there would be a problem,” according to court documents. The man didn't leave, so Beck met with Silk and Boyd to plan the attack. Beck reportedly told the man that she should not be “kissing our girls,” documents say.

The three assailants are described as “self-avowed white supremacists” by federal prosecutors.

Beck was a member of the Aryan Nations in North Idaho and was arrested for malicious harassment while a city council candidate.

He also was accused in 2004 of shooting at a police officer during a standoff in Longview, Wash.

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