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In brief: Crime spree suspect pleads not guilty

PORTLAND – A 25-year-old Portland woman has pleaded not guilty to federal charges in a Northwest crime spree that claimed four lives.

Holly Ann Grigsby was arraigned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Portland.

A grand jury indictment accuses Grigsby and 32-year-old David “Joey” Pedersen, of Salem, of promoting and funding a movement to “purify” and “preserve” the white race through murder.

They are charged in the killing, kidnapping and robbery of four people last fall: Pedersen’s father, David “Red” Pedersen, and stepmother, Leslie “DeeDee” Pedersen, on Sept. 26 in Everett; Cody Myers, a 19-year-old from Oregon, on Oct. 1; and Reginald Clark, 53, of Eureka, Calif., on Oct. 3.

Pedersen is already serving life without parole at the Monroe, Wash., Correctional Complex after pleading guilty to the slayings of his father and his stepmother. He is expected to be arraigned on the federal charges next month.

Lewis-McChord soldier dies

WASHINGTON – A 23-year-old soldier from Ohio has died in San Antonio of wounds suffered in the explosion of an insurgent bomb in Afghanistan.

A Defense Department statement said Sgt. Louis R. Torres, of Oberlin, Ohio, died Wednesday at San Antonio Military Medical Center of wounds suffered in the Aug. 6 bombing in Kandahar.

He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Combat Team, Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Corrections officer assaulted by inmate

MONROE, Wash. – The Washington Corrections Department says a mentally ill inmate at the state prison at Monroe has assaulted a corrections officer, sending the officer to a hospital.

Corrections spokeswoman Selena Davis did not identify the officer injured Thursday and said she could not discuss his condition or the nature of his injuries. But she said his injuries were not life-threatening.

Davis said a 33-year-old inmate identified as Jimi Hamilton tackled and punched the officer as he stood at his post inside a living unit in the prison’s Special Offender Unit. She said other corrections officers broke up the assault within seven seconds.

Hamilton was transferred to maximum security. He is serving a 14-year sentence for two robbery counts in Pierce County.

Corrections Officer Jayme Biendl was killed in January 2011 in the chapel at the Monroe Correctional Complex. Inmate Byron Scherf is charged with aggravated first-degree murder for the death.


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