17 criminal counts brought against Austin Reed Sigg in the Jessica Ridgeway slaying—one for every year he’s been alive

Nov 2, 2012 - by - 0 Comments

UNSEALED: Charging document regarding teen killer Austin Reed Sigg - 17 counts of kidnapping, robbery, sexual, assault & murder

JUSTICE, COLORADO STYLE:

by Eponymous Rox

If the teenage killer of ten-year-old Jessica Ridgeway thought that being “cooperative” with police, and even leading them to the schoolgirl’s missing body parts hidden in the crawlspace under his home, would encourage prosecutors to be more lenient, he was gravely mistaken.

On October 30th 2012, they threw the book at Austin Sigg, charging the deadly 17-year-old student of mortuary science and CSI forensics not only with 11 criminal counts for kidnapping, sexually assaulting, robbing, and murdering the Ridgeway girl, but with 6 more counts for his attempt to do the same to an adult female jogger earlier in May. In that foiled abduction plot Sigg had tried to place a chemical-soaked rag over the victim’s face to subdue her, but the woman managed to escape and reported the attack to the police. At that time she also provided the damning DNA evidence that would eventually link her assailant, proof positive, with the Ridgeway girl’s slaying this October.

Sigg, who sat solemn and shackled throughout Tuesday’s hearing, learned he will also have to stand trial as an adult for his numerous offenses, although it’s expected that his defense attorneys will soon motion for the case to be transferred down to the juvenile court system where sentencing tends to be much lighter for youthful offenders.

That legal maneuver is doubtful to be a successful one, though, simply because of the nature and severity of Austin Sigg’s crimes. As well, it’s become fairly common practice by now to try children as adults when their misconduct rises to such a heinous level as kidnapping and premeditated murder.

At the time of his arrest, Austin Sigg confessed to trailing Jessica Ridgeway on the morning of October 5th 2012, as she was on foot to her school. He then abducted, raped, strangled, and dismembered the ten-year-old, scattering some of her remains in an open area not far from the Ridgeway home, and further planting the victim’s schoolbag and clothes in a township several miles away, in an effort to mislead investigators.

Because he poses such a tremendous danger to the public, particularly to small children and women, the prosecution is demanding the teen continue to be held in jail without bond while he awaits trial. They have also not discounted the possibility that there are other victims of this budding serial killer yet to be discovered, and are urging the court to uphold the status of Sigg as an adult offender.

The full investigation into Austin Sigg’s past actions and activities is therefore still ongoing, but the 17 counts prosecutors have (so far) charged him with are enumerated below. 

 

COUNT 1: Murder In the First Degree: [intentional and premeditated homicide] “On or about October 5, 2012, AUSTIN REED SIGG unlawfully, feloniously, after deliberation, and with an intent to cause the death of a person other than himself, caused the death of Jessica Ridgeway;”

COUNT 2: Murder In the First degree: [murder during the commission of a kidnapping] “On or about October 5, 2012, AUSTIN REED SIGG unlawfully and feloniously, acting alone, committed kidnapping, and in the course of or in the furtherance of that crime, caused the death of Jessica Ridgeway, not a participant in the crime;”

COUNT 3: Murder In the First Degree: [murder during the commission of a robbery] “On or about October 5, 2012, AUSTIN REED SIGG unlawfully and feloniously, acting alone, committed robbery, and in the course of or in the furtherance of that crime, caused the death of Jessica Ridgeway, not a participant in the crime;”

COUNT 4: Murder In the First Degree: [murder during the commission of a sexual assault] “On or about October 5, 2012, AUSTIN REED SIGG unlawfully and feloniously, acting alone, committed sexual assault, and in the course of or in furtherance of that crime, caused the death of Jessica Ridgeway, not a participant in the crime;”

COUNT 5: Second Degree Kidnapping: [abduction aggravated by a sexual offense] “On or about October 5, 2012, AUSTIN REED SIGG unlawfully, feloniously, and knowingly seized and carried Jessica Ridgeway from one place to another without the consent of the victim and without lawful justification. Further, the victim was the victim of a sexual offense;”

COUNT 6: Crime of Violence: [sentence enhancer for kidnapping charges due to related first degree murder offenses] “On or about October 5, 2012, AUSTIN REED SIGG, during the commission of the offense of Second Degree Kidnapping, as charged in count five, unlawfully caused the death of Jessica Ridgeway, a person not a participant in the crime;”

COUNT 7: Second Degree Kidnapping: [abduction aggravated by a robbery] “On or about October 5, 2012, AUSTIN REED SIGG unlawfully, feloniously, and knowingly seized and carried Jessica Ridgeway from one place to another without the consent of the victim and without lawful justification. Further, the victim was a victim of a robbery;”

COUNT 8: Crime of Violence: [sentence enhancer for second degree offenses] “On or about October 5, 2012, AUSTIN REED SIGG, during the commission of the offense of Second Degree Kidnapping, as charged in count seven, unlawfully caused the death of Jessica Ridgeway, a person not a participant in the crime;”

COUNT 9: Sexual Assault On a Child: [aggravated by age disparities between victim and aggressor] “On or about October 5, 2012, AUSTIN REED SIGG unlawfully, feloniously, and knowingly subjected Jessica Ridgeway, not his spouse, to sexual contact, and the victim was less than fifteen years of age and the defendant was at least four years older than the victim. Further, the defendant applied force against the victim in order to accomplish or facilitate sexual contact;”

COUNT 10: Crime of Violence: [sentence enhancer for sexual assault on a minor due to resulting injury/death]; On or about October 5, 2012, AUSTIN REED SIGG, during the commission of the unlawful sexual offense of Sexual Assault On a Child, as charged in count nine, unlawfully caused bodily injury to Jessica Ridgeway;”

COUNT 11: Robbery: “On or about October 5, 2012, AUSTIN REED SIGG unlawfully, feloniously, and knowingly took a thing of value, namely: a back pack, from the person or presence of Jessica Ridgeway by the use of force, threats or intimidation;”

COUNT 12: Criminal Attempted Murder in the First Degree: “On or about May 28, 2012, AUSTIN REED SIGG, by engaging in conduct constituting a substantial step toward the commission of First Degree Murder, unlawfully, feloniously, after deliberation, and with the intent to cause the death of a person other than himself, attempted to cause the death of [a] Ketner Reservoir jogger;”

COUNT 13: Crime of Violence: [sentence enhancer for attempted first degree murder regarding same female jogger at same location on same date] “On or about May 28, 2012, AUSTIN REED SIGG unlawfully used, or possessed and threatened the use of, a deadly weapon, namely: a chemical mixture, during the commission of, attempted commission of, the offense of Attempted First Degree Murder;”

COUNT 14: Criminal Attempted Sexual Assault: [of same female jogger at same location on same date] “On or about May 28, 2012, AUSTIN REED SIGG, by engaging in conduct constituting a substantial step toward the commission of Sex Assault, unlawfully, feloniously, and knowingly attempted to inflict sexual intrusion or sexual penetration on Ketner Reservoir jogger, causing submission of the victim by means of sufficient consequence reasonably calculated to cause submission against victim’s will. Further, the defendant attempted to cause submission of the victim through actual application of physical force or physical violence;”

COUNT 15: Crime of Violence: [sentence enhancer for attempted sexual assault of same female jogger at same location on same date] “On or about May 28, 2012, AUSTIN REED SIGG, during the commission of the unlawful sexual offense of Attempted Sexual Assault, as charged [ ] unlawfully used threat, intimidation, or force against Ketner Reservoir jogger;”

COUNT 16: Criminal Attempted Second Degree Kidnapping: [of same female jogger at same location on same date] “On or about May 28, 2012, AUSTIN REED SIGG, by engaging in conduct constituting a substantial step toward the commission of Second Degree Kidnapping, unlawfully, feloniously, and knowingly attempted to seize and carry Ketner Reservoir jogger from one place to another without the consent of the victim and without lawful justification;”

COUNT 17: Crime of Violence: [sentence enhancer for attempted second degree kidnapping of same female jogger at same location on same date] “On or about May 28, 2012, AUSTIN REED SIGG unlawfully used, or possessed and threatened the use of, a deadly weapon, namely: a chemical mixture, during the commission of, attempted commission of, the offense of Attempted Second Degree Kidnapping, as charged [ ];”

- Signed, Scott W. Storey, District Attorney

 

The prosecution’s charging documents were time-stamped October 29, 2012 and filed with the court in Jefferson County Colorado, under seal. Austin Sigg’s next court hearing has been calendared for November 27, 2012.

His actual trial date hasn’t been determined yet, of course, but, even if convicted as an adult on all 17 counts, the teenager cannot be sentenced to death, nor even to life in prison without parole. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that these harsh sentences, with respect to juveniles, are “cruel and unusual” punishments, irrespective of the type of twisted crimes such kids have perpetrated, including intentional murder and victim dismemberment.

At best then Jessica Ridgeway’s brutal young killer would be incarcerated for a term of not more than forty years, which would make him only 57 or 58 when released and, obviously, still a potential threat to society.

 

EPONYMOUS ROX is the author of DUNGEONS DRAGONS MURDER, and will be providing Crime Magazine readers with exclusive coverage and analysis of the Sigg case as it develops ‒ bookmark this blog for further updates. More of Eponymous Rox’s true crime reports can be found @ http://KillingKillers.blogspot.com

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