Utah v Dustin James Pedersen

3rd District Court  Salt Lake City Case No. 221911916

Charge: 76-5-203(3) - MURDER - 1st Degree Felony, Offense Date November 20, 2022

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On Sunday November 20, 2023, Dustin Pedersen, a resident from Kanab, Utah, and his friend David Maynard had an altercation with the victim, Nichole (Nikkie) Olsen, her friends Charlie and Dylan, and her boyfriend PJ (Matt) at the Exchange nightclub in Salt Lake City.  After the altercation at the Exchange, Pedersen and Maynard followed Nikkie and her friends to a parking lot at 300 Southwest Temple, about a block away from the Exchange. Another altercation ensued in this parking lot, and Pedersen shot and killed Nikkie. Pedersen has pleaded not guilty and claims he attempted to fire a warning shot because his friend was fighting with Nikkie's boyfriend. 


Video surveillance shows the altercation occurred at 1:34 AM near the bathroom. According to Nikkie's friend Charlie Iacono, when she and Nikkie came out of the bathroom, PJ was having words with Pedersen and Maynard. Charlie overheard Pedersen stating that he had 2 million dollars in his bank account. Charlie observed PJ shoving Pedersen to the ground and Nikkie slapping Maynard in the face. 

Maynard testified that Pedersen has approached "a set of girls" and that their boyfriend assaulted him.  Maynard testified that he tried to break up the fight and that he got hit in the left ear by Nikkie.  He testified that she spat on him and he spat on her. He testified there was no conversation between him and Nikkie or PJ.

Club security intervened and Pedersen and Maynard left the club. Nikkie and her friends remained at the club for another 30 minutes until last call.  


Maynard testified that he and Pedersen went to the parking garage and moved Pedersen's car a few stalls down from where it was parked because there was a car parked close to his and he didn't want any dings. Maynard testified that they were going to leave but Pedersen felt he was not good enough to drive because he had been drinking. Therefore Pedersen parked the car a few stalls down to sober up. Maynard testified that Pedersen had 4 Long Island Ice Teas.  Maynard denied remembering what Pedersen told him about the altercation with PJ as to why PJ had hit him.  Maynard stated he was not 100% sure and couldn't remember what Pedersen had said to the girls when he approached them.

Charlie, Nikkie's friend, testified that once they left the Exchange, they (Nikkie, Charlie, PJ, and Dylan) around closing time, they went to the parking garage and were planning to go to an after party at the New Yorker. She testified that when Nikkie backed up, Nikkie said Oops, and she said to have hit a pole in the parking garage, but Charlie did not feel it. They left the parking garage and drove to a parking lot at 300 Southwest Temple St, close to the New Yorker.

Maynard testified that while in the parking garage, Pedersen saw a Kia Soul back into another car, and because of that, and because he saw the Kia leave, he decided to follow the car to get the license plate and report them for a hit and run. The Kia Soul was Nikkie's car. Maynard denied knowing that the people in the car were the people he had an altercation with in the club.  He denied Pedersen mentioning who was in the vehicle while they were following it. 


Pedersen followed Nikkie's Kia Soul in his BMW M4 to the parking lot at 300 Southwest Temple St, which is close to the New Yorker where Nikkie and her party intended to go. He parked opposite Nikkie's car, with the cars front bumper to front bumper.

Charlie testified that once they parked, Nikkie asked her boyfriend PJ to check the back of her car because she believed she had hit a parking pole in the Exchange garage. The moment PJ exited the car on the passenger side,  Charlie saw Pedersen exit the driver side of the BMW and heard Pedersen say "You are the people from the club." Charlie testified that PJ and Pedersen exchanged words and that she got out of the car and intervened, telling them "we don't need to do this." According to Charlie, both Nikkie and Maynard had exited their vehicles, and Maynard hit Nikkie in the face with his fist. 

Charlie testified that PJ then went to Maynard and a fight between the two ensued. Charlie at this point had noticed Pedersen had a gun in his waistband, which made her uncomfortable and she returned to the car in the driver seat.

Maynard testified that he was worried for Pedersen, stating he is a small guy and PJ was much larger. Charlie's testimony refutes this, stating Pedersen and PJ are about the same size with PJ larger than Pedersen. Maynard testified that he never saw Pedersen fighting with anyone. Maynard stated that he to out of the car and said something to turn the attention on himself, but denies knowing what. He testified that both PJ and Nikkie then came at him, and that he hit PJ and held him down by his ponytail. Maynard testified that he had the upper hand on PJ and that he was controlling the situation.  Maynard testified that Nikkie was trying to hit him. Maynard stated that PJ "probably" didn't hit him because he had no marks on his face but otherwise could not remember.

Charlie testified that the fight between PJ and Maynard occurred toward the back of the passenger side of the BMW. Charlie testified that Nikkie, Dylan, and Pedersen were having words by the driver side of the BMW. She stated Nikkie was a few inches away from Pedersen. While looking down at her phone, Charlie heard a sound.  The car door was still open at this time. Charlie states the sound was quiet, and she was unsure it was a gunshot. She first looked at PJ and Maynard, who continued fighting at the very backside of the parking lot, a few feet away from Dylan, Nikkie and Pedersen, who were still exchanging words. 

Maynard testified that he dragged PJ by his ponytail toward the back of the passenger side of the BMW and that he was throwing punches at PJ. He then let PJ up and asked PJ if he was done. Maynard stated that PJ replied that he was not done and that Maynard had shot his girlfriend.  Maynard denies knowing where Nikkie was and denied hearing a gunshot, stating "I didn't hear a gunshot, I heard something, but it didn't sound like a gunshot to me." He stated it sounded like a backfire or someone running over a can. Maynard denied knowing Pedersen had a gun  on him that night and did not see the gun after the shooting until the next day when they drove from Nephi to Kanab.


Charlie testified that within 3 to 4 seconds of hearing the sound of the gunshot, she saw Nikkie walking toward the car. Nikkie entered the passenger side of the car and told Charlie she was shot. Charlie did not believe she was shot, because Nikkie was walking and talking and was wearing a dark brown top which prevented her from seeing a gunshot wound.  Charlie called 911 on Nikkie's phone and honked the horn to get PJ and Dylan's attention. PJ was still fighting Maynard. Once Charlie honked the horn, Dylan and PJ returned to the car.  The BMW then immediately fled from the parking lot. Dylan took video of the BMW fleeing the parking lot.

Charlie testified that PJ got in the driver seat and she was behind Nikkie who was in the passenger seat. Charlie laid the seat back. Dylan called 911 again to give them their location. PJ drove to the hospital and Charlie did CPR. 911 advised them to pull over but PJ continued to drive to the hospital. Charlie stated she saw a small ring of blood from Nikkie's chest. Nikkie died at the hospital despite live-saving measures. The autopsy revealed she died of a gunshot wound to the chest and the manner of death was homicide. Detective Wiley stated Nikkie was shot with a small caliber pistol and that a .22 caliber shell casing was recovered from the parking lot. A Smith & Wesson Walther .22 handgun was later recovered from the trunk of Pedersen's BMW.


Detective Wiley testified that Pedersen and Maynard drove to their Salt Lake City hotel, packed their belongings and immediately left Salt Lake City for Kanab. They stopped at a hotel in Nephi before continuing south to Kanab, where Pedersen learned he had killed the victim. He did not return to Salt Lake nor did he contact the police; instead he continued to Kanab.


Pedersen was on the lam for 30+ hours, from Sunday 11/20/2022 2:00 AM to an indeterminate time after Monday 11/21/2022 8 AM when his stepfather Bill Chatterley contacted Kane County Sheriff's Office (KCSO).  Mr. Chatterley states in his letter to the court that Pedersen came to his house so "we could contact the sheriff in Kane county. His mother worked for the sheriff and he knew that she would be able to contact him." Pedersen lives in the city limits of Kanab, where Kanab Police Department has jurisdiction rather than the sheriff.

Pedersen informed Deputy Chamberlain of KCSO that he had shot a round from his gun to scare some people who were fighting and that a female was hit by the bullet and had been killed. Pedersen stated his BMW was at his residence and the gun was in the trunk of the vehicle.  KCSO did not detain Pedersen and allowed him to leave the sheriff's office.

KCSO called the Salt Lake Homicide Department, which told KCSO to pick Pedersen up and hold him until they could drive down later that day and transport Pedersen back to Salt Lake county. KCSO detained Pedersen. 

Salt Lake City detectives served a search warrant on Pedersen's 2021 BWM M4 and seized a .22 caliber handgun from the trunk. Salt Lake City detectives transported Pedersen to Salt Lake City jail where he remained on a no-bail hold until his detention hearing on February 27, 2023. (Pedersen inmate record)

RELEASE FROM JAIL -- Feb 28, 2023

Despite the Salt Lake City's district attorney's strong objections, Judge McKelvie ordered Pedersen to be released on bail at his detention hearing on February 27, 2023. On February 28, 2023, Pedersen was released from jail on a $100,000 bond with release condition that he is confined to home except for going to work or attending religious services or court proceedings.  His attorney indicated he would be living with his wife and children in Kanab. He must notify Pretrial Services if he leaves Kane county or Salt Lake county. Pedersen was outfitted with an electronic ankle monitor on March 6, 2023. https://www.abc4.com/video/kanab-man-charged-with-2022-nightclub-murder-released-on-bond-despite-salt-lake-da%e2%80%99s-objection/8488986/