Teen Pleads Not Guilty in Kidnap, Murder of Colorado Child

Yahoo Contributor Network

Austin Sigg, 18, pleaded not guilty at the Jefferson County ,Colo., courthouse on Friday of all charges related to the kidnap and murder of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway last fall. Sigg was also charged with attempting to kidnap a jogger last year and has pled not guilty to those charges as well. Here are the details.

* Sigg faces 18 counts in all, including four counts of first-degree murder as well as charges of second-degree kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, sexual assault on a child and criminal attempted sexual assault.

* Jessica Ridgeway disappeared from Westminster, Colo., on Oct. 5 while walking to school. Her body was found five days later in a field in Arvada.

* Authorities stated that Sigg, then 17, confessed to kidnapping and killing the child and was arrested on Oct. 23. His DNA also matched that taken from the clothing of a jogger who had been attacked from nearby Ketner Lake.

* According to the charges against him, Sigg is accused of using a chemical mixture in order to attempt to kidnap and sexually assault the jogger on May 28, 2012.

* The Denver Post reported that an autopsy of the child revealed that she had died from asphyxiation caused by suffocation or strangulation.

* Sigg's mother had called police prior to his arrest and said that her son wanted to turn himself in for the Jessica Ridgeway murder and that he had just confessed to killing the child.

* In February, the Colorado Supreme Court got involved in the case, ordering that the preliminary hearing be open to the public. The judge overseeing the case had initially ruled that -- in order to protect Sigg's right to a fair trial -- the proceeding would be closed. However, several media organizations protested that order, the Denver Post reported.

* According to the Facebook page Jessica Ridgeway's Legacy , the family said of Sigg's not guilty plea, "This came as no surprise, we were prepared for this even though we hoped for the 'guilty' plea to end this painful chapter with the courts."

* The family stated that Sigg's attorneys have reserved the right to change his plea and that trial is set to start on Sept. 20.

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