Sentences handed down in 2017 Missoula double homicide case

Posted at 1:47 PM, Apr 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-12 15:50:19-04

MISSOULA – Two people were sentenced to life in prison 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 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 her daughter.

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

-Reported by Mark Thorsell & Connor McCauley/MTN News

Tiffanie Pierce and Augustus Standing Rock
Tiffanie Pierce and Augustus Standing Rock

(AUGUST 21, 2017) New details have emerged in court documents into the brutal murder of two people found dead at a residence in Missoula last week.

On Thursday, two people were taken into custody in connection with a double murder. They have been identified as 23-year-old Tiffanie Pierce and 26-year-old Augustus Standingrock. The victim’s identities have not been released.

Prosecutors say in court documents that on Aug. 17 a confidential informant reported that a friend of his who was roommates with Pierce came to his home in the middle of the night because she told him that she and Standing-Rock had “stabbed someone.”

The roommate said he was at first awakened by a woman screaming. He went into the kitchen and saw blood and reported that the couple had been in the bathroom washing blood off themselves before Pierce told him what happened.

Pierce told him that there was a woman’s body in the basement.  After learning this the roommate left the house.

Pierce came to the roommate’s work later and told him that she and Standingrock brought a couple of people over, took them into the basement and attacked one. When the other tried to get away they stabbed that person also, killing them both.

After the report, police obtained a search warrant for a home in the 1900 block of Strand Avenue.

They arrived to find Pierce and Standingrock at the home. Standingrock had a bloody cloth around his hand and was at first holding a gun before complying with police. The two were taken into custody without incident.

Police found the handgun in the home, along with two bodies in the basement, one man and one woman.

The bodies had been placed into plastic tubs filled with chemicals. Investigators also located knives and an ax covered in blood and apparent human tissue.

The initial investigation indicates that the two died from stab wounds. They also found out that Pierce had recently purchased cleaning agents, plastic tubs, and chemicals used in the tubs where the bodies were found.

The investigation is ongoing as police were on the property throughout the weekend.

Both defendants are expected to make their initial appearance in Missoula County Justice Court on Monday afternoon.