December 5 2014
– An Oregon State Police detective who investigated the 2011 Northwest killing spree of a pair of white supremacists pleaded guilty to forgery and misconduct.
David Steele was sentenced to 18 months of supervised probation, surrendered his police officer certification and resigned from the OSP on Friday. He was also fined $200 for the forgery charge.
Paige Clarkson, a deputy district attorney in Marion County, announced the charges Wednesday.
David Pedersen, holly grigsby
FILE – Holly Grigsby waits with her boyfriend, David “Joey” Pedersen, during an appearance in Yuba County Superior Court in Marysville, Calif. The pairs’ murderous crime spree through Washington, Oregon and California, is one of Oregon’s top 2011 stories.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, file)
She said they arise from Steele’s work in the case of Joey Pedersen and Holly Grigsby, who were convicted after a nine-day rampage that left four people dead: Pedersen’s father and stepmother, an Oregon teenager the couple mistakenly thought was Jewish, and a black man in Northern California.
The judge in the case said Steele, among other things, failed to log evidence and listened to jail calls between Pedersen and his defense team.
The Marion County District Attorney’s Office said the case will have a major ripple effect, and all of his cases since his career started are under review.
In a statement ready by attorney Michael Staropoli, Steele said:
“I take full responsibility for my actions. I deeply regret that any of my conduct adversely affected the true focus of the federal case that involved the needless deaths of four innocent people. I offer my sincere apologies first and foremost to the relative of those whose lives were lost.”
“Your behavior has grave consequences,” Judge James Rhoades said.
Richard Wolf, the attorney for Pedersen, asked to address the court before sentencing. But Judge Rhoades said he did not consider Pedersen a victim of Steele’s actions, so denied the request for Wolf to speak.
Here is the statement Wolf would have read in court, had he been allowed: