Arraignment set for Pedersen

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


An arraignment hearing for Clarence Dean Pedersen, 64, of Washington, has been set for 9 a.m. Aug. 10 in Washington County Court.

Washington County Attorney John Gish said before the arraignment Pedersen?s attorney would enter a written plea of guilty or not guilty. During the arraignment, if a not guilty plea is entered, a pretrial hearing and a trial would be scheduled. On Friday, Gish entered trial information against Pedersen, making a preliminary hearing that had been scheduled unnecessary. Pedersen has been appointed counsel from the Iowa State Public Defender?s office.

Pedersen remains in the Washington County Jail in leau of $1 million bond and faces charges of first-degree murder in the death of Ed Jones, 70, of Washington. If convicted he faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Jones was found deceased July 11 in an apartment he shared with Pedersen at 601 W. Adams St. Court documents said Jones was discovered with a stab wound to the upper torso and a fixed bladed Buck knife was found in his lap. Pedersen admitted to owning a knife of the same type. An empty sheath for the knife was found in his truck.

During a search of the apartment, police found a lock box in Pedersen?s bedroom with two handwritten notes inside. The first said ?Kill Ed.? The second, ?Kill Yourself. Suicide.?

Pedersen had previously been convicted of murder in the death of his brother-in-law Kent Nelson in 1978. The conviction was overturned by the Iowa Supreme Court in 1981.