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Teen Accused In Girl’s Slaying Scheduled In Court

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Austin Sigg (credit: Jefferson County Sheriff)

Austin Sigg (credit: Jefferson County Sheriff)

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GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) — A teen charged with kidnapping and killing a 10-year-old Colorado girl and attacking a runner is scheduled in court Wednesday.

Austin Sigg, 17, has been charged as an adult, including a murder charge in the death of Jessica Ridgeway, who disappeared Oct. 5 as she was walking to school in the west Denver suburb of Westminster. Sigg also is accused in an attack on a 22-year-old woman, who escaped, in Jessica’s neighborhood in May.

The hearing was expected to provide prosecutors and defense attorneys an opportunity to argue procedural matters involving the case. The major issues have already been decided after a judge last month ruled that Sigg would be tried as an adult and that he would be incarcerated in an adult jail.

Sigg, who turns 18 next month, is charged with four counts of murder, two counts of kidnapping, and one count each of sexual assault on a child and robbery in Jessica’s abduction and slaying. He’s charged with attempted murder, attempted sexual assault and attempted second-degree kidnapping in the attack on the runner.

He’s also charged with six counts of crime of violence.

If convicted as an adult, Sigg faces up to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years.

Prosecutors said he confessed to kidnapping and killing Jessica and attacking the jogger. It’s not clear if he has made any comment on the charge of sexually assaulting the girl.

The 22-year-old woman said she was running in a Westminster park when a man grabbed her from behind and placed a rag with a chemical smell over her mouth. Investigators have not said whether the rag was soaked with a chemical meant to subdue her.

Police arrested Sigg on Oct. 23. His mother told The Associated Press she called police and her son turned himself in.

A preliminary hearing, where the judge will decide if there is sufficient evidence to go to trial, is scheduled for Feb. 22.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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