Austin Sigg Trial, Jessica Ridgeway’s family today heard horrifying details of how their 10-year-old daughter had her hair cut off and was strangled, sexually assaulted and dismembered by a teenager.
Austin Sigg, 18, was emotionless 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.
Since he was 17 when he committed the crime, Sigg is exempt from the death penalty and eligible for parole after 40 years, but the other charges could add up to a life sentence.
A psychologist told the court 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.’
She 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.
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 5, 2012.
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.
At 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.
Defense 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.
Spengler 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.
In 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.