DETENTION HEARING --  Feb 27, 2023

During the detention hearing (audio)(text) , the prosecution argued for Pedersen to continue to be held on a no-hold bail. Detective Wiley,  lead homicide  detective on the case, stated  that "Another determination was some instability in his family life, on the 14th of November, so approximately 6 days before this, his wife had filed for divorce down in Kane county. I don’t know what the basis of that is but there was a divorce prior to this event happening. So all of these decisions from that week  leading up to the homicide were very impulsive. And I do believe that there is a threat by releasing him out on this detention hearing and a threat that he may flee the jurisdiction or not be able to have the stability of a home life to be out on bail."

The prosecution stated "It’s the state’s position that we are asking the court to maintain the no-bail hold in this case based on the fact that there is clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is a substantial danger to the community. The letters that were submitted by the defense attorney I think demonstrate, that what it shows is that .. A number of those letters say that this is a huge surprise, it’s a mystery this happened. I think that what that shows the court is that this defendant is unpredictable, his actions are unpredictable. That makes him a danger to the community, he killed a woman, a young woman, unarmed, that he did not know, for apparently, at this point, we’re not quite sure the reasons. We know that he’s a flight risk, that he did not turn himself into law enforcement when he knew that something, that an individual had died based on that altercation, he then goes to Kanab. Kanab, the northern part of Kanab is literally 4.6 miles from the Arizona border. It’s the state’s position that also makes him a flight risk. Based on the totality of the circumstances here it’s the state’s position that he should remain on a no-bail hold. "

The defense attorney countered that Pedersen was not a flight risk and when asked by the Judge whether Pedersen still had his former job, stated that his wife was filling in for his job and that Pedersen would get his job back, even though Pedersen was fired from his job at Kane County Hospital in November 2022 after the hospital learned of the homicide, and has no intention of rehiring Pedersen.

Judge Richard McKelvie stated "I know that there is a kind of societal expectation that when somebody is accused of murder they are automatically going to be held in custody until the case is resolved. But our constitution affords otherwise. The defendant is entitled to a couple of things: he is entitled to a speedy trial, and he is entitled to bail unless the court makes certain determinations about that, including the fact that there is clear and convincing evidence that the defendant committed the offense, also that he is a flight risk that cannot be remediated in any way, and that he is a danger to the community that cannot be remediated in any way. Before the court we have an individual who by my account is 39 years old now? Is that correct? 39 years old, no prior criminal history, professional job, who is charged with what is undoubtedly a very, very serious crime that could face a lifetime in prison. However, under the circumstances, I can’t find that there are no set of conditions that would assure his presence or that would assure the safety of the community. " Judge McKelvie ordered Pedersen released from jail.

RELEASE FROM JAIL -- Feb 28, 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.


On June 27, 2023 the preliminary hearing was held (audio) (text).  The purpose of a criminal preliminary hearing is for the judge  to determine if there is probable cause that the defendant committed the crime. The judge listens to witnesses' testimony and receives evidence. If the judge finds probable cause that the defendant committed the crime, the defendant is bound over for trial. If the judge concludes there is insufficient evidence, the case is dismissed. Charges may be amended at the preliminary hearing.  During the preliminary hearing in this case, testimony was heard from witness Charlie Iacono and Detective Nate WileyVideo testimony of David Maynard (download) (vimeo), who was with Pedersen, was also offered by the defense. 


During the arraignment hearing, Judge McKelvie informed the defendant of the charge against him, which is 1st degree felony murder in violation of Utah criminal statue 76-5-203(3). Pedersen pleaded not guilty. A trial date has still not been set. Pedersen remains out on bail. The arraignment was covered in the Salt Lake Tribune:


Pedersen filed a motion on 7/28/2023 to have his cell phone returned. A hearing is scheduled for 9/25/2023 to hear this motion.  To attend the hearing via webex, email for the webex link and code.