NewsCrime and Courts


Sentences handed down in gruesome 2017 Missoula murder case

Posted at 4:00 PM, Apr 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-12 23:43:35-04

MISSOULA – Two people were sentenced to life in prison on Friday morning for their roles in a gruesome Missoula double homicide case.

Tiffanie Pierce and Augustus Standingrock both previously pleaded guilty in connection with the August 2017 deaths of Marilyn Pickett, 15, and Jackson Wiles, 24.

After killing the pair, Pierce and Standingrock attempted to dissolve the bodies by placing them in tubs filled with chemicals in the basement of their Strand Avenue home.

Judge James Wheelis sentenced both Standingrock and Pierce to two counts each of life in prison — to run concurrently — adding that his main goal is to protect the public.

Tiffanie Pierce was sentenced to two, concurrent, life in prison terms. (MTN News photo)

Friday’s sentencing began with the judge issuing a warning to those in the packed courtroom.

Judge Wheelis warned of the emotional nature of the murders and that anyone who acted or spoke out would be held in contempt and could face 30 days in jail.

The family of Wiles then provided emotional statements to the court while Pickett’s sister thanked first responders for their actions in the case.

Pierce spoke out during the family’s victim statements saying that she never testified against Standing Rock and never will.

Pierce also faces a felony count for her involvement in a robbery on Montana Street that left one victim with stab wounds.

(MTN News photo)

According to court documents, Pierce broke into the home with Standingrock and then stabbed the victim while demanding drugs and money from her.

The victim in that case, who was too emotional to read her statement, had someone else read it to the court. She said that she felt like she was “losing her mind” over the paranoia of being randomly assaulted.

Judge Wheelis called a court recess shortly before 10:15 a.m. and Standingrock was then sentenced.

Pierce’s defense attorneys then addressed Judge Wheelis before her sentencing in an attempt to paint a picture of a child who came from a broken and abusive home. Pierce’s father read a statement to the court in regards to his daughter.

Judge Wheelis then sentenced Pierce to two life in prison sentences — to run concurrently — for her role in the deaths.

-information from Connor McCauley