A Montana man who murdered and dismembered two people before attempting to dissolve their bodies in acid could spend the rest of his life in prison, the Missoulian reports.
Augustus Standingrock, 26, pleaded guilty Friday to deliberate homicide for stabbing 15-year-old Marilyn Pickett and 24-year-old Jackson Wiles to death in August 2017.
After the slayings, Standingrock dismembered the victims’ bodies and put them in tubs of acid.
The coroner could identify the bodies only using dental records and DNA, according to the Associated Press.
As part of the deal, which calls for a life sentence but the possibility of parole, Standingrock agreed to testify against accomplice 23-year-old Tiffanie Pierce, who also was charged with homicide.
Investigators reportedly believe Standingrock wanted to kill Wiles for allegedly sexually assaulting a girl with whom Standringrock was close.
“You stabbed him?” Judge James Wheelis asked Standingrock in court, referring to Wiles.
“Yes,” Standingrock said in response, according to the news outlet.
Prosecutors did not disclose what led to the plea deal.
Standingrock reportedly claimed he did not stab Pickett, the 15-year-old girl, but that Pierce did instead. Standingrock also denied restraining Pickett and said she had tried to flee the Pierce’s home where the killings occurred.
Still, Standingrock acknowledged that he drove Pickett to Pierce’s house knowing that she intended to kill her.
“Did you know that the other person, Ms. Pierce, I believe, intended to kill Ms. Pickett?”
“Yes,” Standingrock said.
Pierce’s roommate told authorities that he awoke to a woman screaming and found Pierce and Standingrock in a bathroom, according to the Associated Press. The roommate said the pair had blood on them and that they told him there was a dead body in the home’s basement.
Police found knives as well as an ax that contained blood and human tissue.
While in jail awaiting trial, Standingrock had received a letter from Pierce. He attempted to eat it after authorities became aware of it. Investigators attempted to reconstruct the letter but the writing was illegible.
Standingrock is scheduled to be sentenced on May 3.
Missoula County Attorney Kirsten Pabst has said she would not seek the death penalty.