Judge grants more time for Austin Sigg’s defense
Austin Reed Sigg is accused of killing Jessica Ridgeway (Photo: Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office)
GOLDEN, Colo. — A judge agreed to allow the defense more time to examine evidence in the murder trial of Austin Sigg, the teen accused of killing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway.
Defense attorneys told Jefferson County District Court Judge Stephen Munsinger they needed more time to look over 50,000 pages of documents, 2,500 photos and 1,800 pieces of physical evidence collected in the case.
Attorneys asked for 2 months. The judge agreed to just one.
Sigg, now 18, is accused of brutally killing Ridgeway. The girl disappeared while she was walking to school on October 5. Her torso was found in a Jefferson County open space less than a week later.
Nearly three weeks after Ridgeway’s disappearance, Sigg called 911 and told the dispatcher he had murdered the 10-year-old. The call was played at his preliminary hearing on Feb. 22.
“I murdered Jessica Ridgeway,” Sigg said during the phone call. “I have proof that I did it and I’ll answer all the questions that you want.”
In the process of their investigation, police were able to link Sigg to an attack on a female jogger at Ketner Lake on May 28. Six of the 19 charges he is facing stem from that attack.
Because he was 17 when Ridgeway was murdered, Sigg cannot face the death penalty. He would likely face life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years if he pleads guilty or is convicted.
Analysits had believed Sigg would enter a guilty plea in Thursday’s hearing.
According to the Associated Press, the decision to plead guilty or not seems to hinge on the prosecution’s decision regarding the sexual assault charges filed against the 18-year-old. Though investigators say Sigg confessed to strangling Ridgeway to death and then dismembering her body, he has vehemently denied sexually assaulting the girl.
If the prosecution agrees to drop the sexual assault charges, it may lead Sigg to enter a guilty plea, thus avoiding a prolonged trial. Prosecutors have said they added the sexual assault charges because police found child pornography during the process of the investigation.
Family members of Ridgeway attended the court hearing wearing purple — the girls favorite color.