(MISSOULA) Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the case of Augustus Standingrock, who is charged with killing two people last year, have reached a plea deal.
Standingrock and co-defendant Tiffany Pierce were both charged with homicide in the deaths of Jackson Wiles, 24, and Marilyn Pickett, 15.
A police investigation showed that the victims were stabbed to death in a Strand Avenue home before their bodies were placed into plastic tubs filled with chemicals.
Their bodies were found on August 17 when police arrived at the home with a search warrant in connection with a reported “home invasion burglary/stabbing” that occurred on July 23.
Standingrock pleaded guilty Friday morning to a charge of deliberate homicide and a count of accountability to deliberate homicide.
The plea deal transpired at a status conference hearing before Missoula District Court Judge James Wheelis.
During his Friday court appearance, Standigrock admitted killing Wiles and then handing the knife to Pierce knowing that she would stab Pickett.
The plea agreement calls for Standingrock to serve a life sentence in prison, and means the trial set for January 4th in Missoula County has been vacated.
Standingrock is scheduled to be sentenced in April.
(AUGUST 21, 2017) New details have emerged in court documents into the brutal murder of two people found dead at a residence in Missoula last week.
On Thursday, two people were taken into custody in connection with a double murder. They have been identified as 23-year-old Tiffanie Pierce and 26-year-old Augustus Standingrock. The victim’s identities have not been released.
Prosecutors say in court documents that on Aug. 17 a confidential informant reported that a friend of his who was roommates with Pierce came to his home in the middle of the night because she told him that she and Standing-Rock had “stabbed someone.”
The roommate said he was at first awakened by a woman screaming. He went into the kitchen and saw blood and reported that the couple had been in the bathroom washing blood off themselves before Pierce told him what happened.
Pierce told him that there was a woman’s body in the basement. After learning this the roommate left the house.
Pierce came to the roommate’s work later and told him that she and Standingrock brought a couple of people over, took them into the basement and attacked one. When the other tried to get away they stabbed that person also, killing them both.
After the report, police obtained a search warrant for a home in the 1900 block of Strand Avenue.
They arrived to find Pierce and Standingrock at the home. Standingrock had a bloody cloth around his hand and was at first holding a gun before complying with police. The two were taken into custody without incident.
Police found the handgun in the home, along with two bodies in the basement, one man and one woman.
The bodies had been placed into plastic tubs filled with chemicals. Investigators also located knives and an ax covered in blood and apparent human tissue.
The initial investigation indicates that the two died from stab wounds. They also found out that Pierce had recently purchased cleaning agents, plastic tubs, and chemicals used in the tubs where the bodies were found.
The investigation is ongoing as police were on the property throughout the weekend.
Both defendants are expected to make their initial appearance in Missoula County Justice Court on Monday afternoon.