Suspect in the Jessica Ridgeway murder Austin Sigg defense team focuses on mental state

6:51 PM, Aug 29, 2013   |    comments
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JEFFERSON COUNTY - Defense attorneys on Thursday continued to roll out a possible defense for a teen accused of kidnapping and murdering 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway in October 2012.


During the last major motions hearing prior to the scheduled trial, Austin Sigg's defense brought forward a psychologist who spoke of adolescent brain development. University of Colorado at Boulder Psychologist Dr. Marie Banich took the stand on Thursday morning and spoke at length on how the human brain continues to develop well past the teenage years.

It appears as if Sigg's defense is trying to form the basis of an argument on Sigg's mental state at the time of the highly-publicized crime. The defense is not arguing insanity, rather it is trying to show that Sigg might not have been capable of understanding the criminal aspect of his actions.

A basic tenant of first-degree murder in Colorado is that the defendant must have knowingly committed the murder. Prosecutors have charged Sigg as an adult. Jury selection is set to start in September.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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