Prosecutors file 17 charges against Jessica Ridgeway's alleged killer

Austin Sigg to be charged as an adult

GOLDEN, Colo. - The teenager accused in the kidnapping and murder of Jessica Ridgeway has been charged with 17 different counts including felony murder, kidnapping and sexual assault.

Austin Sigg, 17, made his first court appearance in Jefferson County court Tuesday morning.

He was charged as an adult in the case.

Sigg faces a total of 11 charges directly related to Jessica Ridgeway's death.  They include: four counts of murder in the first degree, two counts of second-degree kidnapping, robbery and sexual assault on a child.

One of the murder counts is described as after deliberation. The kidnapping and sexual assault charges are each accompanied by a crime of violence sentence enhancer.

An additional six charges were also issued against Sigg relating to an attempted kidnapping of a 22-year-old woman in Ketner Lake on May 28.

In the Ketner Lake case, Sigg is charged with attempted murder in the first degree, attempted sexual assault and attempted second-degree kidnapping. Each of those is also accompanied by a crime of violence sentence enhancer.

7NEWS Reporter Amanda Kost said a shackled Sigg was accompanied by as many as eleven guards inside the Golden courtroom.

Sigg didn't speak during the hearing and didn't look at his relatives.

Also inside the courtroom were eight members of Jessica's family, including her mother. Each wore some shade of purple, Jessica's favorite color.

Ridgeway disappeared Oct. 5 as she was walking to meet up with friends at Chelsea Park so they could all walk to school together. The park is several blocks from her home.

Ridgeway's remains were found in an Arvada open space park five days later. Her body had been dismembered and sources told 7NEWS that investigators were still searching for her remaining body parts.

Last week, police announced they arrested Sigg after they got a tip from his mother.

A prosecutor said in court that authorities have a DNA match and a confession from Sigg.

Tuesday in court Sigg's attorneys announced that they plan on asking the judge to consider trying Sigg as juvenile, instead of as an adult, by filing a motion for a reverse transfer hearing.  

7NEWS sought out criminal defense attorney, Jay Tiftickjian for insight.

"It’s a way for somebody else, other than a prosecutor, to make that determination if someone should be tried as an adult. [The] defense team has every right to bring this motion and a judge will have to review this to make sure that it is justified in staying in adult court,” said Tiftickjian. 

Tiftickjian explained that the judge will consider the same factors that the Jefferson County district attorney did when Sigg was direct filed as an adult. Those factors include Sigg's age, the severity of what he's accused of, and what happened to the victims. 

"All things considered, this is a case that's likely going to stay in the adult court," said Tiftickjian. 

The next court hearing is set for November 27 in Jefferson County.

While Sigg was charged as an adult in this case, he will not face the death penalty.

The Supreme Court of the United States, in the June ruling in the Miller v. Alabama case, decided that mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole are unconstitutional for juvenile offenders. Additionally, the Supreme Court ruled in Roper v. Simmons that the death penalty was cruel and unusual for people who committed crimes while under the age of 18.

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