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Montana man pleads guilty to double murder, putting bodies in acid

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) – A Montana man pleaded guilty Friday to stabbing two individuals to death, one of whom was a young girl, dismembering their corpses, and then attempting to dissolve them in acid-filled tubs in a home’s basement.

Augustus Standingrock’s guilty plea was part of an agreement with prosecutors, who will request that the 26-year-old be sentenced to life in prison with the chance of parole. In the murders of Marilyn Pickett, 15, and Jackson Wiles, 24, last year, he pled guilty to intentional homicide and culpability for deliberate homicide.

 

Standingrock, according to prosecutors, suspected Wiles had sexually molested a young girl close to him.

 

The two were slain inside the Missoula home of co-defendant Tiffanie Pierce, who is currently facing homicide charges. She has pled not guilty and will stand trial in March.

 

Standingrock told District Judge James Wheelis at Friday’s court hearing that he stabbed Wiles and that Pierce murdered Pickett, according to the Missoulian newspaper.

 

The court inquired as to whether Pickett was free to leave the house. Standingrock said, “She tried.” He said he gave Pierce the knife and did not intervene when she assaulted the teen.

 

According to court papers, Pierce’s roommate informed police that he was woken by a woman’s screaming in August 2017. He said he saw Pierce and Standingrock in the bathroom cleaning away blood, and Pierce informed him that there was a dead lady in the basement.

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Pierce subsequently informed her roommate that Standingrock brought over a pair of individuals and led them to the basement, where he assaulted one while Pierce attacked the other, according to the roommate.

 

Standingrock and Pierce mutilated the remains and attempted to dissolve them in tubs filled with chemicals she purchased, according to prosecutors. The coroner, according to officials, required dental records and DNA to identify the remains.

Investigators also discovered blood-splattered knives and an axe.

Standingrock’s trial was set for January 4th. Kirsten Pabst, the Missoula County Attorney, had said that she would not pursue the death sentence.