Murder victim's mother says Biendl's family could face long wait

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by MEG COYLE / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @MegCoyleKING

KING5.com

Posted on May 15, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 15 at 6:35 PM

TACOMA, Wash. -- Despite all the time that has passed, it will never be enough for Lee Peden.

"I had a hole in my heart you could drive a mack truck through. And it's healed down to, ya know, here," Peden gestured. "But it's still there. It never goes away."
 
It was 1996. Genie Harshfield had just moved in to a little Tacoma house next door to the one she grew up in, next door to where her mother still lives.

"Genie used to always get me hanging baskets for the porch," Peden recalled.

On a summer day in July, Genie didn't show up for work. When a co-worker went to her home to check on her, she discovered Genie's body.

Allen Gregory had broke into her home, raped her, slit her throat and stabbed her.

"What he did to Genie was absolutely brutal," said Peden.
 
A jury agreed. Not once, but twice. Gregory was first sentenced to death in 2001. The state supreme court reversed it in 2006, but it was reinstated just last year. Peden believes she's waited long enough.

"Do it. Just do it. If there's absolutely no doubt, just do it. Send him to hell where he belongs," she said.

Peden wants to see her daughter's killer put to death. The average wait time for a death row inmate to be executed is 13 years. Peden has waited much longer than that.
 
"Now he gets another appeal. What if they overturn it again," she wondered.
 
It is possible. And those appeals are costly. Death penalty cases cost about half a million dollars more than an aggravated murder case with no death penalty.
 
Still, Peden believes her patience and persistence will ultimately pay off.

"I want to see him go to hell before I die," she said.
 
The state legislature held a hearing in March on a proposed bill to end the death penalty, but it went nowhere.
 
 

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