Augustus Standingrock will spend the rest of his life in prison after confessing to killing two people and then putting their bodies in acid.
The Montana man struck a plea deal with prosecutors for the deaths of 15-year-old Marilyn Pickett and 24-year-old Jackson Wiles. According to a report from NBC News, he pleaded guilty to deliberate homicide and accountability to deliberate homicide in the killings, which took place last year.
Prosecutors said that Standingrock attacked Wiles because he believed Wiles had sexually assaulted a girl he knew, the report noted.
Another woman, Tiffanie Pierce, still faces charges of deliberate homicide for the killings. The pair were killed at Pierce’s home, authorities said. In a court hearing this week, Standingrock said that he stabbed Wiles and that Pierce killed Pickett.
At a court hearing, prosecutors established that Standingrock was also responsible for Pickett’s death because he handed Pierce the knife and did not stop her when she began attacking the teen, the Missoulian reported.
As NBC News reported, the pair were then accused of trying to dispose of the bodies.
“Standingrock and Pierce dismembered the bodies and tried to dissolve them in tubs filled with chemicals that she bought, prosecutors said. Officials said the coroner needed dental records and DNA to identify the bodies.
“Investigators also found knives and an ax covered in blood and human tissue.”
As the Missoulian had previously reported, Standingrock was accused of a similar attack in 2013. Prosecutors said he attacked his mother’s new boyfriend with a crowbar because he believed that the man had “harmed” a girl — the same girl he believed that Wiles harmed which led to the fatal attack.
At the time, Standingrock’s attorney pushed back against the previous assault being included in a trial, saying it would improperly influence the jury.
“Countless studies demonstrate that jurors give greater weight to evidence of misconduct and dishonesty than to favorable evidence,” he wrote. “Introducing the 2013 case brings little to the State’s present case, but will have a dramatic impact on the Defendant’s chances at trial.”
It was not clear if there was evidence that Wiles had committed any of the acts that Standingrock reportedly contended he had.
Ever since Augustus Standingrock and Tiffanie Pierce were charged with murder last year after two bodies were found dismembered and partially dissolved in chemicals in the basement of Pierce’s home, the open question has been why. https://t.co/JEFf78iGyQ #Missoula pic.twitter.com/2XXHEJw8TF
— Missoulian (@missoulian) July 28, 2018
The strange circumstances of the case garnered national attention, with a number of national outlets covering the court proceedings and Standingrock’s guilty plea this week.
Augustus Standingrock could have faced the death penalty, but will avoid it with his guilty plea.