The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

White Supremacist Pleads Guilty to Killing Father, Stepmother in West Coast Rampage

By Bill Morlin on March 12, 2012 - 3:05 pm, Posted in White Supremacist

A white supremacist pleaded guilty today to killing his father and stepmother last fall before embarking on what an Oregon sheriff called a “vicious, wild reign of terror” that ended after two more people were killed.

The guilty pleas from 31-year-old David “Joey” Pedersen came in Everett, Wash., after Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe said he wouldn’t seek the death penalty because there was “significant and credible” evidence that Pedersen had been sexually abused as a child by his father.

Pedersen is expected to be sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole, The Everett Herald reported.

The gravity of it all appeared lost on Pedersen during his brief court appearance.

As family members of victims listened in the courtroom, he joked and offered a wisecrack about being promised a “double whopper with cheese” as part of the plea deal.

Pedersen, who had been released from prison shortly before the murder spree last September and October, still faces charges, not yet filed, for killing a 19-year-old man he mistakenly thought was Jewish in Oregon and a 53-year-old black man in Eureka, Calif.

Pedersen’s girlfriend, Holly Ann Grigsby, was arrested with Pederson in a stolen car on Oct. 5 and also faces charges in the murders. After their arrest, she told authorities that she and Pedersen “were on their way to Sacramento to kill more Jews,” the Washington state arrest affidavit says.

Instead of separate state prosecutions, the additional murder cases could be handled with a federal prosecution, authorities say.

The killing rampage began when David “Red” Pedersen, 56, was fatally shot in the head as he took his son and Grigsby to a bus station in Everett on Sept. 26. The suspects then returned to the Pedersen home in Everett, where Leslie “Dee Dee” Pedersen’s throat was slashed after she was bound with duct tape. A sword was found near the body.

The prosecutor issued a prepared statement saying he didn’t believe a jury would impose a death sentence on a defendant who had been sexually abused by the person he murdered.

“The police investigation revealed that many years ago when his children were young, the late David Pedersen engaged in child abuse,” the prosecutor’s statement said. “Significant, credible evidence exists that he engaged in multiple acts of child sexual abuse, victimizing his own children, and others.”

Since his arrest in California, Joey Pederson has repeatedly confessed to killing his father, citing the sexual abuse he suffered as a child.

“Whether that was his true, sole or only motivation is less certain, but what is certain is that any jury considering his fate would first hear hours, days, or perhaps weeks of testimony on the subject, some of it from the actual victims of the abuse,” Roe said in his prepared statement.

“Neither my senior attorneys, myself, nor members of the investigative team believe that with what a jury would hear, there is any reasonable chance of them unanimously returning with a verdict of death for this defendant,” Roe said. “As such, I will not seek a death sentence I believe we cannot realistically achieve, despite my feeling that such a sentence would be justified.”

Joey Pedersen, who sports various white supremacy tattoos, has four prior felony convictions, including one for threatening to murder a federal judge in Idaho who handled the “Ruby Ridge” case of white separatist Randy Weaver. Weaver’s wife and son and a deputy U.S. marshal were killed in a 1992 standoff in North Idaho.

Roe did not say Monday if he’ll seek the death penalty for Grigsby, but it would be unusual for the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office  to seek the death penalty for one defendant and not the other, the Everett newspaper reported.

After Pedersen is sentenced, he still faces likely charges for the slaying of Cody Myers, 19, of Lafayette, Ore., and Reginald Alan Clark, 53, found shot to death in his truck in Eureka, Calif.

“I don’t know who intends to do what next, in terms of prosecutions,” Roe told Hatewatch, “but I want everyone to know he won’t be getting out of prison in the meantime.”

  • MrsCaptJack

    David ~ My ex is a half Native American and both he and his brother were molested. It happens everywhere. We don’t hear about it when it happens on a reservation because it’s dealt with on the reservation.

    As for those of you who think this man should be cut some slack, thanks for giving me permission to go out and murder people just because I was molested as a kid, raped (and molested) as an adult. I’ll be sure to mention all y’all as character witnesses. Sheesh. Up till now I’ve always used the bad things that happened to me to help me relate to my clients and others who need to know positive can come out of a horrid negative. I guess I don’t need to bother with that anymore?


    Has anyone noticed lately the proliferation of child, sexual abuse in our culture? Many TV programs are getting more explicit in their content. One has to believe it is/has been more a part of our his/herstory than has been previously annotated. Strange how it is never documented among Native American lore. Another fact that is emerging with more and more clarity…our so-called “heartland and family values” demagogues and demographics have spent more time and $$$ in “Pornoworld” than the despicable liberal coastal states. Their teen pregnancy and out-of-wedlock birthrates are higher too. And…this means that those Redders need more tax dollars to support these predilections. Certainly Duhhh Bush’s Brain was cognizant of this when he made out the Texas state budgets. Glory, glory…GBAmurka.

  • lLinda Walsh

    Ok, the death penalty is off the table, but I hope he gets life in prison. Probably, the prosecutor is right about the presence of credible evidence of molestation, but is thereany chance for his rehabilitation? If, the answer is no, then life imprisonment is the appropriate sentence here. No one can bring his victims back tto life.

  • Karla

    Obviously, these people must be punished and I agree with the sentence.

    However, don’t you feel as though the horrible abuse he suffered as a child is ultimately responsible for his mind set? This case is a prime argument for aggressive, serious punishment of child abusers.

  • Karen, a tired old lesbian

    Matt, forgiveness is not part of the equation. This man is a danger. Mass murder is a very serious crime with very real legal consequences. You can forgive him all you want, but he needs never to walk free again.

  • Jana

    Its a point in time, when everyone is accountable for their actions. The world would even be a more intolerable place if we all decided to act in criminal behavior because of what has happened to us in the past. I for one, hope these two evil monsters get the death penalty. With life in prison, they will be treated like racist royalty while eating away at our tax dollars. Execute these rabid dogs.

  • Aron


    What are you talking about? ‘An eye for an eye’goes back to Hammurabi’s Code, the very first code of laws in human history. He predated Judaism by a LOOOOOONG time.

  • Matt

    Eye for eye, the Jewish law, always wants blood, how about forgiveness? What happen to this man is terrible, Some type of cultural taboo in his head? Could he have decided to seek help for his rage, perhaps other choices could have been made by him.

  • Reaper081087

    No death penalty but life in prison with no likelihood of parole…hmm fair enough. Not that I am a supporter of Capital punishment. At least the guy got what he deserves.

  • Aron

    That’s just about the best reason I’ve ever heard for going to Sacramento. Interesting sidenote: ‘Going to kill more Jews’ is my personal phrase for trying to find the best hamburger in any given city.

    The looks my friends give me when I suggest we go grab dinner never cease to confuse me…

    (That being said, I’m sure these two exemplary persons will become very popular in the large white-supremacist prison gangs. They may even come to enjoy it. As such, a ‘supermax’-style facility may be the best bet. Either that or an oubliette.)

  • Shadow Wolf

    I think Roe should take a script from the case of Shawna Forde, in which Shawna Forde, along with her co-conspirators white supremacist Jason Bush and their gringo Mexican traitor–Albert Gaxiola, all received the death penalty. It’s not “unusual”, to take that road for cases involving callous acts of senseless murders. Whether it’s life imprisonment, or the needle. Justice was received for the victim’s families.

  • DrMJG

    Rage such as is/was in this young man is difficult for many of us to understand. I am very happy that the sentence did NOT include the death penalty as I am morally opposed to it. Still, justice has been done. Not sure further prosecution will be anything other than revenge at this point.