Defense raises issues

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Lawyers for Austin Sigg questioned if police officers legally explained Sigg’s rights when they arrested him at his home last October.  

Sigg is accused of murdering Jessica Ridgeway of Westminster. Police received a call from Sigg, who they say confessed to the murder.

Sigg’s lawyers are hoping to have the judge suppress statements Sigg, 18, made at this time of his arrest when he did not have legal representation.

During the Friday June 21 motions hearing, the defense team questioned Westminster police officer Albert Stutson, who was one of the first officers to arrive at Sigg’s home.

Stutson, a member of the department’s special enforcement team, testified that he did inform Sigg of his rights soon after he arrived at Sigg’s home. Stutson said after learning Sigg — who was 17 at that time — informed him of his rights once more in front of Sigg’s mother.

Stutson did not testify about any statements Sigg made while Stutson was with him at the home, or during the drive to the police department and while at the police department.

The hearing ended without any rulings made by Judge Stephen Munsinger on 26 pending motions, including the defense team’s request to have the trial moved from Jefferson County and a motion to close future court proceeding to the public.

According to court documents, a change of venue is being requested due to “massive and pervasive” media coverage effecting Sigg’s right to a fair trial.

Sigg is accused of kidnapping and killing Ridgeway in early October 2012. He is also accused of attempting to abduct a woman jogging around Ketner Lake in May 2012.

If convicted, Sigg faces life in prison with a possibility of parole after 40 years. He faces 17 charges, including murder and sexual assault.

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