Since death fascinates him, why not an execution?
A teenager who kidnapped, sexually
assaulted and strangled to death a 10-year-old girl before dismembering
her body and keeping her skull will die in prison after a judge labelled
him 'evil' and sentenced him to consecutive hefty prison terms.
Ridgeway's killer Austin Sigg, 18, was emotionless as Jefferson County
District Court Chief Judge Stephen Munsinger went through each of the 15
counts he pleaded guilty to, handing him a life sentence for
first-degree murder and then 86 additional years for counts including
sexual assault and kidnapping.
is apparently real. It was present in our community on October 5,
2012,' Munsinger told the court, after saying the case 'cries out for a
'I expect you to spend the rest of your natural life in prison,' he added to Sigg.
chose not to address the judge before being sentenced and didn't react
while he learned his fate though his mother, Mindy Sigg, sobbed behind
him in the courtroom. Afterward, he was handcuffed and led out without
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Sentencing: Austin Sigg was been sentenced to
life in prison in district court in Golden, Colorado, on Tuesday,
November 19, 2013
Relief: District Attorney Peter Weir and Jessica
Ridgeway's mother Sarah Ridgeway, embrace on Tuesday, following the
sentencing of 18-year-old Austin Sigg to life plus 86 years for Jessica
Prayers: Wendy Pesavento, Jessica Ridgeway's
great grandmother, prays after the little girl's killer was sentenced to
die in prison
Defense attorneys had argued state law
required the judge to give him a sentence that made him eligible for
parole after 40 years because he was a juvenile at the time of the
crime. However, Munsinger overruled this.
a press conference following the sentencing, prosecutors lauded
Munsinger's decision and embraced Jessica's mother, Sarah Ridgeway, who
appeared relieved her daughter's killer would die in prison.
'We are confident that this
sentence ensures that Austin Sigg will never, ever leave the Department
of Corrections and he will never, ever be in a position to prey on
members of our community,' District Attorney Peter Weir said.
Earlier Tuesday, Chief
Deputy District Attorney Hal Sargent described
Sigg's October 5, 2012 atrocities, including how he snatched Jessica off
the street, lied to her as she begged to know whether she'd ever see her
mother again, raped her and then strangled her before cutting up her body
for his own sexual gratification.
'We have never seen a crime as
heinous, depraved, whatever adjective we use to describe it....' Sargent said.
'He stole from Jessica her
everything she was but also everything she would be... no sentence can
undo that pain (her family) will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
But it can make sure Austin Sigg never has the chance to inflict this
pain on another person.
Jessica's disappearance on her way home from school caused panic among
parents across Denver, who feared their children were not safe
Killer: The now-18-year-old, pictured center,
sat emotionless in court Tuesday as prosecutors recapped the atrocities
he confessed to in October 2012
Sentence: District Judge Stephen Munsinger
speaks in district court in Golden, Colorado, on Tuesday as he sentences
Austin Sigg to life plus 86 years for the killing of Jessica Ridgeway
'I suggest you impose on Mr Sigg a
life sentence and an actual life sentence that ensures he dies in
prison,' he added to the judge.
Sarah Ridgeway left the courtroom before Sargent began his
presentation and Mindy Sigg, sat hunched over in her
seat, crying as he described the nearly two hours the teen kept the girl
in his room after grabbing her off the street on her way to school.
painful to imagine what he did to her in that time,' Sargent said
before explaining how Sigg sexually assaulted the child, leaving her
with horrific bruises then strangled her to death.
Sigg first tried to strangle Jessica
with zip ties but he told police later that he didn't have 'enough
leverage' so instead used his hands to strangle her for up to three minutes.
When he noticed she was still twitching, Sargent said Sigg filled a bathtub and forced her face into the scalding hot water.
don't want to go into all of the details of how he carefully,
methodically dismembered her,' Sargent said, but he did explain how he
disposed of some of her organs but left her vagina, placing a cross in it.
Defense: Sheriff's deputies escort Austin Sigg
from the courtroom after he was sentenced in district court Tuesday. His
defense attorney, Ryan Loewer earlier argued his client couldn't
receive a life sentence because of his age
The disturbing details came a day after Jessica's family spoke of their heartbreak
at the loss of their happy little girl who loved butterflies and the
'I miss her with every breath,' said
Christine Ridgeway, Jessica's grandmother. 'There are no more hugs or
kisses or her little toes digging into mine on the couch.'
added: 'This monster took away the light, at least in my life. I would
like to know that Mr. Sigg is in a very small cell for the rest of his
The family spoke
about the light Jessica brought to their lives and the fear and loss
they've suffered since her murder, but the little girl's mother couldn't
bring herself to speak at length.
don't think the defendant has a right to hear how he has affected me,'
Sarah Ridgeway said. 'Once we walk out of this courtroom, we will no
longer remember his name, only the legacy Jessica left behind.'
other grandmother, Angie Moss told the court: 'Now when people ask me,
"How many grandkids do you have?" I have to say, "Seven, but I used to
Holding back tears, she asked the judge to give Sigg the maximum sentence.
'I can't imagine being his mother,
trying to live with the fact that I raised a child like that, to live
with or know that I had raised a child that was capable of doing this,'
Moss said. 'I can't imagine the damage that has been done to his
Sadness: Jessica Ridgeway's aunt Becca Ridgeway,
left, mother Sarah Ridgeway and grandmother Christine Ridgeway, right,
testify in district court in Golden, Colorano, on Monday
Killer: Sigg remained emotionless on Monday
apart from a short period when he broke down in tears after a video
celebrating Jessica's life was played to the court
Tears: Tears roll down the face of Austin Sigg,
center, in district court in Golden, Colorado, on Monday as he watched
the video of Jessica
The family had to endure hearing the horrifying details of how their 10-year-old daughter met a grisly end.
Sigg barely reacted as prosecutors
pushed for consecutive sentences on all 15 convictions of Jessica's
murder but he broke down in tears after a video celebrating Jessica's
life was played to the courtroom.
he was 17 when he committed the crime, Sigg was exempt from the death
penalty and eligible for parole after 40 years, but the other charges added up to a life sentence.
psychologist told the court Monday how Sigg was sexually aroused by
dismembering the girl in a bath tub and lied to her about how she would
see her mother again.
Expert witness Anna Salter said: 'There's no logical motive for dismemberment other than sexual thrill.'
also told how the teenager had no empathy for Jessica and calmly ate a
snack as he recounted the horrific details of his crime. He strangled
her to death with his bare hands after his first attempt to do so with a
zip tie failed.
added that Sigg kept certain body parts, including Jessica's skull,
which Salter said he was particularly interested in. He also labeled the
organs he removed from her body.
parts of Jessica's body were found in an Arvada field, days after she
was kidnapped. Salter also testified that Sigg's mother found child
pornography on his computer in 2008.
Sigg acted against the
advice of his defense team, and plead guilty to killing and dismembering
the fifth-grader after kidnapping her on her way to school on October
Horror: Police discovered Jessica's body in a
field off of a highway on October 19, 2012. It had been severely
dismembered by Sigg, who admitted he killed her
According to pre-trial hearings, as
well as Sigg's own admissions to investigators made after his arrest,
there were plenty of warning signs indicating that the troubled mortuary
science student was on a dangerous path.
age 16, Sigg has developed an obsession with hard-core child
pornography and spent a year watching violent videos depicting kids
being tortured and raped.
attorney Katherine Spengler told how Sigg's mother often inhaled paint
in the late stages of her pregnancy and fell down the stairs once
shortly before he was born.
said Sigg was born with an abnormality in his intestines, and that his
birth by vacuum extraction also caused him to have a head deformity. She
said he had several surgeries before he turned 6.
May 2012, four months before the teen decided to fulfill some of his
sickening fantasies by kidnapping little Jessica on her way to school,
Sigg unsuccessfully tried to snatch a female jogger in Ketner Lake.
Jessica was snatched off the street while walking to school, and her
disappearance panicked thousands of residents in Denver's western
After Sigg pleaded guilty, the prosecution described how Sigg grabbed Jessica, pulled her
into his car and tied up her hands and feet.
Painful: Jessica Ridgeway's mother Sarah
Ridgeway left the courtroom earlier this month as prosecutors described
the horrors committed against her daughter by Sigg
Somber mood: District attorney Peter Weir,
second from right, and members of his staff leave the courtroom after
Austin Sigg pleaded guilty to killing 10-year-old Jessica
Monster: Austin Sigg, 18, had spent a year
watching violent child pornography depicting kids being raped and
tortured before he kidnapped and butchered 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway
a fifth-grader who loved purple and performing in a peewee cheerleading
squad, left home to walk to school in Westminster on October 5, 2012.
She never made it there.
of people helped search for her. Jessica's backpack was found two days
later in Superior, a town about six miles from her home. Days after
that, human remains later identified as Jessica's were found in a park.
meanwhile, urged residents to watch for any suspicious changes in
neighbors' behavior. Officers guarded crosswalks and photographed cars
in the area.
escorted their children to and from area schools. Mailboxes and trees
were encircled by ribbons in Jessica's favorite color, purple.
On October 19, 2012, a resident
contacted authorities to alert them to Sigg because he reportedly had a
fascination with death, Westminster police Detective Luis Lopez
testified at a preliminary hearing. FBI agents took a DNA sample from
On October 23, Mindy Sigg, called 911, saying her son wanted to confess.
Investigators said Sigg told them some of Jessica's remains were hidden in a crawl space in his mother's home, where he lived.
said Sigg described how he abducted Jessica as she walked past his car.
He said he bound her arms and her legs, drove around for a little bit,
then took her to his house.
There, he told investigators, Sigg
tried to strangle the girl and then used his hands to kill her. He also
allegedly told investigators that he dismembered Jessica in a bathtub.
Lopez said Sigg's DNA was found on Jessica's clothing.
dropped out of high school after the 11th grade and later earned a GED.
Former classmates say he was intelligent but complained about school
and was bullied for having a high voice.
asked about his criminal record on the 911 call, Sigg told the
dispatcher: 'The only other thing that I have done was the Ketner Lake
incident where the woman got attacked. That was me.'
the attack on the jogger, investigator Michael Lynch testified that
Sigg used homemade chloroform to attempt to subdue the woman. She