A white supremacist killer who embarked on a “vicious, wild reign of terror” in 2011, killing four people in three states, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Portland, Ore., to two additional murders, these related to racially-motivated carjackings.
David “Joey” Pedersen, 33, traveling with his girlfriend Holly Ann Grigsby, carried out the carjacking murders near Newport, Ore., and in Eureka, Calif., during a 10-day killing spree that started with the murders of Pedersen’s father and stepmother in Everett, Wash.
After fleeing Washington state, Pedersen confessed Wednesday that he forced 19-year-old Cody Faye Myers to drive Pedersen and his girlfriend-accomplice, Grigsby, to an Oregon campground, then killed Myers in the mistaken belief that he was Jewish.
“A vicious, wild reign of terror has come to an end,” Yamhill County, Ore., Sheriff Ken Summers said after the arrest of the pair.
Grigsby pleaded guilty in March to one racketeering charge containing seven separate acts, including involvement in four murders, kidnapping and robbery and interstate transportation of stolen property. She awaits sentencing in June where she is expected to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole
Pedersen is expected to be given two additional life sentences when he is sentenced in Aug. 4.
When asked about the shootings at Wednesday’s hearing, Pedersen told Senior U.S. District Judge Ancer Haggerty: “I am responsible for that, yes,” The Oregonian reported. “I am guilty,” Pedersen added.
As part of a plea deal, federal prosecutors will seek a life sentence, without the possibility of parole, for each carjacking count.
Also as part of the plea bargain with Pedersen, the newspaper reported co-conspirators Corey Wyatt, 29, and his wife, Kimberly Scott-Wyatt, will get lighter sentences for their support roles in the 10-day killing spree.
Wyatt admitted giving a gun to Pedersen, a felon, and being an accessory after the fact involving a car Pedersen stole after killing his father. Wyatt is expected to receive a seven-year prison sentence. Prosecutors, meanwhile, will recommend probation for Kimberly Scott-Wyatt, who confessed Wednesday to being an accessory after the fact in assisting with the stolen car.
Pedersen already is serving two life terms in prison in Washington State after confessing in March 2012 to fatally shooting his father, David “Red” Pedersen, in the back of the head and killing his stepmother in Everett in September 2011. The prosecutor in that case said he decided not to pursue the death penalty because there was “significant and credible” evidence that Pedersen had been sexually abused as a child by his father.
Pedersen, who has four prior felony convictions and past affiliations with white supremacy prison gangs, has a large “SWP” – Supreme White Power – tattoo on his neck. Among his convictions, Pedersen served time in an Idaho prison for threatening to murder a federal judge 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.