Murder Suspect In Colorado Girl's Death, Due In Court

By: CBS/AP (Posted by Kion Hudson)
By: CBS/AP (Posted by Kion Hudson)

(CBS/AP)-- A Colorado teen is scheduled in court today as he is charged as an adult in the kidnapping and killing of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway.

Austin Sigg, 17, is charged with murder after Jessica disappeared on Oct. 5 as she was walking to school in the west Denver suburb of Westminster. Sigg also is accused of attacking a 22-year-old runner who escaped in Jessica's neighborhood in May.

The hearing was expected to provide prosecutors and defense attorneys an opportunity to argue procedural matters involving the case. The major issues were already decided after a judge ruled last month that Sigg would be tried as an adult and that he would be incarcerated in an adult jail.

Sigg, who turns 18 next month, is charged with four counts of murder, two counts of kidnapping, and one count each of sexual assault on a child and robbery in Jessica's abduction and slaying.

He's charged with attempted murder, attempted sexual assault and attempted second-degree kidnapping in the attack on the runner. He's also charged with six counts of crime of violence.

A preliminary hearing where the judge will decide if there is sufficient evidence to go to trial is scheduled for Feb. 22. If convicted as an adult, Sigg faces up to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years.

Prosecutors said he confessed to kidnapping and killing Jessica and attacking the jogger. It's not clear if he made any comment on the charge of sexually assaulting the girl.

The 22-year-old woman said she was running in a Westminster park when a man grabbed her from behind and placed a rag with a chemical smell over her mouth. Investigators have not said whether the rag was soaked with a chemical meant to subdue her.

Police arrested Sigg on Oct. 23. His mother told The Associated Press she called police and her son turned himself in.


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