David "Joey" Pederson and Holly Grigsby are accused of committing four murders in 2011. Photo courtesy Oregon State Police
The federal government will take the lead in prosecuting an Oregon couple accused in a killing spree that stretched down the U.S. west coast last fall. The U.S. Attorney's office in Portland announced indictments Friday against David "Joey" Pederson and Holly Grigsby.
Pederson and Grigsby are accused of four murders, starting with Pederson's father and stepmother in Everett, Washington last September. Prosecutors say the couple next kidnapped and killed a Yamhill County, Oregon teenager and then a Eureka, California man.
The indictment paints the murders as part of a white supremacist campaign. Investigators recovered writings from the pair that they say indicate they committed the crimes to further their goal of racial purity. The California victim was black and the couple allegedly thought their Oregon victim was Jewish.
Pederson has already plead guilty to murder in Washington state and was sentenced to life in prison. But he and Grigsby could receive a death sentence on the federal charges, though prosecutors haven't yet decided whether to pursue the death penalty.
Assistant U.S. Attorney for Oregon Jane Shoemaker says she expects the Washington state murder charges against Grigsby will be dropped soon in favor of the federal counts.
On the Web:
Federal indictment: http://www.scribd.com/doc/103170828/Pedersen-Indictment-Redacted#fullscreen
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