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April death penalty decision for pair accused of killings

Lawyers need more time to gather materials in the case against the couple accused of killing David and Leslie Pedersen.

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By Diana Hefley
Herald Writer
EVERETT -- The decision on whether to seek the death penalty for an Oregon couple accused of killing David and Leslie Pedersen now isn't expected until April.
A judge Wednesday was told that defense attorneys need time to gather materials in an attempt to convince Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Roe that he shouldn't seek the death penalty.
David "Joey" Pedersen, 31, and his girlfriend, Holly Grigsby, 24, are charged with aggravated murder. They are accused of shooting Pedersen's father, David "Red" Pedersen and fatally cutting his wife, Leslie "DeeDee" Pedersen.
The couple also are suspects in homicides in Oregon and California.
Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Craig Matheson agreed to the extension requested by the defense attorneys. He acknowledged that it will take time to gather the materials since both defendants lived in Oregon. Joey Pedersen also has spent time in prisons in at least two other states.
In contrast, Roe earlier this year decided to seek the death penalty for Byron Scherf shortly after the convicted rapist was charged with aggravated murder for the death of Monroe corrections officer Jayme Biendl. At the time of his decision, Roe said he already had reviewed thousands of pages of documents that were available to him because Scherf had served most of his adult life in prison.
Prosecutors don't yet have that kind of information on Pedersen or Grigsby.
Defense attorneys Pete Mazzone and Donald Wackerman agreed that they would be able to provide mitigation materials to prosecutors by March 19. A trial date was scheduled for September 2012.
Pedersen and Grigsby made brief appearances Wednesday in Snohomish County Superior Court. Both wore bright orange jumpsuits. The words "ultra security" were printed on the back of Grigsby's jail uniform. Corrections officers kept the pair separated.
Prosecutors allege that Pedersen and Grigsby began a violent crime spree in Everett after a weekend visit with Pedersen's estranged father. Joey Pedersen allegedly admitted that he killed his father because of allegations that he molested a family member. Investigators have not said if the sexual abuse allegations have been confirmed.
After Red Pedersen, 59, was killed, the pair allegedly returned to the Everett couple's home and killed DeeDee Pedersen, 69. They drove down to Oregon in the slain man's car with him in the passenger seat, court papers said. Investigators later found Red Pedersen in his Jeep down a steep embankment off a logging road in Oregon.
Investigators believe the couple carjacked and killed Cody Myers, 19, in Oregon. They also are suspects in the shooting death of Reginald Clark. The disabled man's body was found in his pickup truck not far from a California grocery store where he encountered Grigsby.
Grigsby allegedly told investigators that Myers was killed because he had a "Jewish sounding" last name. The couple have suspected ties to white supremacist groups.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463;
Story tags » EverettHomicide

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