EVERETT, Wash. -- As they judge addressed him in court, David Pedersen answered to his given name, but he wears his identity on his skin. The tattoo across his across his throat reads "SWP" for supreme white power. His shortsleeved jail garb reveals arms covered with dark tattoos. Sources say many of them proclaim his devotion to neo-Nazism.
What, if any connection his beliefs have to the murders of his parents, an Oregon teenager and a black California man remain unclear. We do know that Pedersen's girlfriend, Holly Grigsby has similar tattoos.
Wednesday both pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated first degree murder. They are charges that could send each to death row. However, in court, Pedersen and Grigsby seemed somewhat detatched.
A dozen friends and family members watched a live video feed from the jail to the courtroom. They're now put in the position of losing two loved ones, and possibly seeing two more sent to death row.
When asked how the Pedersen family was doing deputy prosecutor Craig Matheson replied, "As you might expect. They have two people who they love who were brutally killed."
Pederson reportedly confessed to the killings, but were more planned? He told a reporter at KING 5 affilliate KGW in Portland that there were things in the vehicle at the time of their arrest in California that give a better idea of what their goal was. Prosecutors won't elaborate on that but Matheson says it's an ugly case.
"There's nothing pleasant about an aggravated first degree murder. That's the nature of the beast," said Matheson.
Trial for 31-year-old Pedersen and 24-year-old Grigsby was set for Dec. 2 in Snohomish County Superior Court, although that is likely to be postponed.
The prosecutor has until Nov. 14 to decide whether to seek the death penalty, although that date also could be extended.