Iowa Man Pleads Guilty to Two Aggravated Vehicular Hijackings In Mt. Vernon
Jefferson County State's Attorney Douglas Hoffman provided the court with a probable cause statement on what happened the afternoon of March 26th. He told the court Pederson forced his way into two different vehicles while armed with a pellet gun that resembled a semiautomatic handgun.
First, Pederson approached a vehicle occupied by a female driver in the parking lot of the McDonald's Restaurant on the west side of Mt. Vernon. Pederson made the driver take him to the nearby Kohl's parking lot. He bound her thumbs with a zip-tie. Peterson then took her debit card and told her to drive to a gas station. When the car was stopped at the BP Gas Station on the west side of Mt. Vernon, the victim managed to free herself and pepper-sprayed the defendant.
Pederson then forced his way into a van occupied by a female driver and her two teenage children. They drove down Wells Bypass until Pederson let them exit the vehicle near the NAPA Distribution Center. Pederson then drove away and was later arrested at a Nashville gas station by local police.
Hoffman said Pederson had just been released from the Marion Federal Prison where he was serving a sentence for bank robbery. He had been released to travel to a halfway house in Iowa to serve out the remainder of his sentence.
Hoffman is pleased with the prompt resolution of the case and says they were able to send Pederson back where he belongs, which is prison. Hoffman referred to him as a career criminal who cannot be allowed to walk our streets. He also applauded Mt. Vernon Police for their great work on this case.
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