White supremacist reverses course, accepts legal aid for July trial

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PORTLAND — A white supremacist accused of a Northwest crime spree that claimed four lives has accepted legal help less than two months after winning the right to represent himself at his upcoming trial, his lawyers said Monday.

Court-appointed attorneys Renee Manes and Richard Wolf confirmed in phone interviews that they are again representing David "Joey" Pedersen.

Pedersen, 32, and Holly Ann Grigsby, 28, are awaiting trial in July on federal charges of kidnapping, carjacking and murder. They are accused of killing a man on the Oregon coast and another in Northern California.

Pedersen previously pleaded guilty to murder in the slaying of his father and stepmother in Everett.

Prosecutors say the 2011 killing spree was part of a white supremacist campaign to purify and preserve the white race. Pedersen has a tattoo of a swastika on his chest and an image of Adolph Hitler on his stomach.

The blue initials "SWP," for Supreme White Power, are on his neck.

U.S. District Judge Ancer Haggerty agreed in January to let Pedersen serve as his own lawyer.

It is unknown why Pedersen rejected the attorneys and what led to his change of heart.