EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — A young couple suspected in a murder spree that claimed four lives in three Western states returned to Washington state Tuesday to face charges that could bring the death penalty.
David “Joey” Pedersen, 31, and his girlfriend, Holly Grigsby, 24, arrived from northern California and were booked into the Snohomish County Jail, Everett police Sgt. Robert Goetz said Tuesday evening.
Everett detectives interviewed the pair before locking them up, but Goetz said no details of those interviews would be released.
Pedersen and Grigsby had been held in the Yuba County, Calif., jail since their arrest Oct. 6. The pair, who have expressed white supremacist beliefs, waived their right to an extradition hearing last week.
They are charged in Washington with aggravated first-degree murder, accused of killing Pedersen’s father, David “Red” Pedersen, 56, and his wife Leslie, 69, in Everett sometime around Sept. 26.
They are also suspected of killing Cody Myers, 19, in Oregon and Reginald Alan Clark, 53, in Eureka, Calif.
Aggravated murder is punishable in Washington by execution or life in prison without release.
According to a prosecutor’s affidavit in support of the Everett 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.
In interviews with a reporter and police, the couple said they killed Pedersen’s father because he molested two young relatives and said they killed his wife because she knew about the abuse and still supported him. Everett police have emphasized that investigators have not confirmed the defendants’ allegations.
Grigsby confessed during a five-hour, videotaped interview with Oregon state police, Snohomish County Deputy Prosecutor Craig Matheson wrote in a probable cause statement.
Grigsby said the couple planned to travel from Oregon to visit Red Pedersen and his wife — and then shoot him in the back of the head as he drove them to a bus station.
She said she was in the passenger seat and took the steering wheel after her boyfriend fired the shot. They then drove to the Pedersens’ home in Everett.
Grigsby said she slit Leslie Pedersen’s throat and they headed south in Red Pedersen’s Jeep with his body inside.
They ditched the car off a steep embankment and killed Myers, 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 Grigsby was arrested, she 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.
Pedersen initially refused to talk with police but later reconsidered.
He admitted killing 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 Clark, who was found dead with a bullet wound to the head.
Police have not suggested a motive, but Clark is black.
Joey Pedersen, who has spent nearly half his life in prison, later summoned a reporter from a California newspaper, the Appeal-Democrat, to the Yuba County jailhouse for an interview and took “full responsibility” for “everything that’s been reported.”