No death penalty for man who killed parents

No death penalty for man who killed parents »Play Video
EVERETT, Wash. - Prosecutors have agreed not to seek the death penalty for the man who pleaded guilty to murdering his parents.

David "Joey" Pedersen admitted to the brutal September 2011 murder of his father, David "Red" Pedersen, and his stepmother, Leslie Pedersen. He is also accused of two other murders in an alleged crime spree that spanned three states.

On Friday, Pedersen was sentenced to a life term. But before he learned his fate, he faced his victims' families.

Calling him "evil," Leslie Pedersen's daughters voiced their anger and sorrow.

"On Sept. 25 of 2011, unknown to me, I talked to my mom for the very last time," said Helen Clark, Leslie Pedersen's daughter. "Unknown to my family, evil had already entered our lives."

"The loss of my mom and Red is something I know I will never forget," said Lori Nemitz, Leslie Pedersen's daughter. "I cannot fathom the level of pain and loss that these terrible and cowardly acts have caused."

Investigators believe racism and rage fueled the crimes, but Pedersen claims he attacked his father because he abused his own children and others.

"I killed my father because he was a child molester," he said in court.

It was Pedersen's accusations of abuse that convinced prosecutors not to seek the penalty in the case.

"I pity the defendant that he didn't give his father the chance to try to make amends for any wrongs he suffered at his hands," said Nemitz.

The victims' families watched as the judge sentenced Pedersen to life in prison -- a strong punishment, but not the justice the victims' families had wanted.

"Evil has been buried too kindly today," Clark said.

In court, Pedersen took full responsibility for his actions, and said his girlfriend, Holly Grigsby, should be cleared of the charges she faces for the crimes.

After their local cases are wrapped up, both Pedersen and Grigsby will face charges for the other murders in Oregon and California.