Medical experts to testify in Sigg trial

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Two expert witnesses were approved by District Court Chief Judge Stephen Munsinger during the Aug. 7 Austin Sigg motions hearing.

Sigg, 18, is accused of kidnapping and killing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway, of Westminster, in October. He is also accused of attempting to abduct a woman jogging around Ketner Lake in May 2012.

The judge ruled that Dr. Tracey Corey, a forensic pathologist, and Dr. Kathryn Wells, a pediatrician who specializes in child abuse, would have the opportunity to testify in court on the prosecution’s behalf. Both women testified during the Aug. 7 hearing in Jefferson County court, describing their qualifications and involvement in the Ridgeway case.

Corey, who testified via Skype, is the chief medical examiner for the state of Kentucky. She also works with the FBI and was called in to assist in the Ridgeway case. She was a consultant in the case with the Behavioral Analysis Unit.

Wells, who testified in person, works for Denver Health and is the medical director at the Denver Family Crisis Center. She was asked by the prosecution to review case evidence regarding possible sexual assault. Jessica’s mother, Sarah Ridgeway, stepped out of the courtroom while the women described Jessica’s injuries.

“I was asked to render an opinion of the forensic findings in the case,” Corey said. “My opinion was that there was evidence of blunt traumatic injury consistent with sexual assault.”

Corey also testified that, based on her observations, Jessica’s body was dismembered after her death.

The judge also ruled that statements made by Sigg and his mother over the phone when the mother called police will be admissible during the trial.

Jury summonses were sent out the week of the hearing, and jury questionnaires will begin Sept. 20. Opening statements in the trial are scheduled to begin Oct. 3.

The trial date for the Ketner Lake case was also set during the hearing and is scheduled for Jan. 13.

Sigg’s next court appearance is Aug. 29. If convicted, he 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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