Tiffanie Rae Pierce and Augustus Standingrock were sentenced on Friday by District Judge James Wheelis to two life terms in the Montana State Prison, after being found guilty for the murders of 24 year-old Jackson Wiles and 15 year-old Marilyn Pickett.

Deputy County Attorney Jennifer Clark summed up the sentences for both defendants.

“Mr. Augustus Standingrock was sentenced on two counts, one for deliberate homicide and one for accountability for deliberate homicide and he was given a life sentence on both counts,” said Clark. “Tiffanie Rae Pierce was sentenced for attempted deliberate homicide and accountability for deliberate homicide and she was given life sentences on both of those counts.”

In one of the most shocking and gruesome crimes even seen in Missoula, in which both victims were murdered and then their bodies dismembered and placed in vats of acid, both defendants sat with downcast eyes as family members and friends of their victims recounted their pain and agony, in testimony that lasted almost 90 minutes. Pierce openly wept throughout most of the testimony, while Standingrock sat mute throughout the sentencing hearing.

Given the opportunity to allocute, Standingrock simply stated, “I apologize, there’s nothing I can say or do to bring anything back.”

After Standingrock heard his sentence of two life terms in prison, he was escorted out of the courtroom to be transported to the Montana State Prison.

The attempted deliberate homicide charge against Pierce stemmed from a separate incident in which she entered a home on Montana Street and brutally stabbed her female victim eight times.

Pierce’s attorneys called several witnesses to testify about the difficult childhood that she had faced, including her father, who apologized to the victims.

Pierce also addressed those present in the courtroom.

“To the victims and their families and friends,” Pierce began. “I would like to offer my deepest and most sincere apologies and condolences,” she said tearfully. “I would also like to apologize to my family and friends, not only for the shame and embarrassment  and shock that I have caused, but also for the burden that I have become.”

Pierce went on to say she never meant for anyone to die that night.

“It was never my intention to cause anyone’s death,” she said. “Especially someone so young and beautiful and with as much potential as Marilyn. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t wish I could trade places with her.”

Rather than face a trial, both Pierce and Standingrock accepted plea agreements from the Missoula County Attorney’s office.



More From Newstalk KGVO 1290 AM & 98.3 FM