A white supremacist couple face the death penalty after allegedly being caught on their way to kill "more Jews" following a two-week manhunt in which at least three people were murdered.
David Pederson, 31, and his girlfriend Holly Grigsby, 24, were arrested north of Sacremento, California. An arsenal of loaded handguns and rifles was found in their vehicle.
Their alleged victims include Pederson's stepmother, Leslie Pederson, 69. Her body was found in her home near Puget Sound in Washington state, with her hands bound by duct tape, her head wrapped in a pillow soaked in blood and a sword lying nearby.
Yesterday the pair appeared at Yuba County Court, Marysville, California. The court heard Grigsby had confessed that after killing Pederson's stepmother they murdered his 56-year-old father by shooting him in the back of the head as he drove them to a bus station.
They then drove to Oregon where, Grigsby told police, they killed 19-year-old Cody Myers after mistakenly concluding that his last name meant he was Jewish. The couple were driving Myers's car when captured. Both have known links to white supremacist groups and Pederson has a prominent White Power tattoo on his neck.
After their arrest, Grigsby allegedly said that she and Pederson were on their way to Sacramento to "kill more Jews". They have also been named as suspects in the murder of Reginald Clark, a 53-year-old black man, whose body was found in a car in Eureka, California.
In an interview from jail, Pederson - who has spent most of his adult life in prison - claimed he killed his father because he believed he had sexually molested his sister and cousin.
Police think Mrs Pederson was killed because they thought she knew of the abuse but did not stop it. No proof has been found that the molestation happened.
Prosecutor Mark Roe said the pair face charges of aggravated first-degree murder and warned the killings in Oregon and California could also be prosecuted as hate crimes.
Pederson and Grigsby are being held in prison before extradition to Washington after bail was set at $1million each.
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