PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — 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 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, Wash.
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.
Wolf said he and Manes — despite their on-again, off-again status as Pedersen’s lawyers — have not sought a delay in the trial scheduled for July 7.
Grigsby’s legal team, however, asked Haggerty to postpone the joint trial until late September or early October. The judge denied the request Monday in a decision first reported by The Oregonian newspaper.
Kathleen M. Correll said in court papers filed Friday that she and Grigsby’s other lawyer need time to digest a large set of discovery material that’s only now being released by Oregon State Police. Moreover, U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall alerted them that additional significant discovery may also be forthcoming from the FBI.
Grigsby and Pedersen were arrested in October 2011 outside Yuba City, Calif. Attorney General Eric Holder decided last month not to seek the death penalty.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.