Fairfax teen pleads guilty to murdering girlfriend in Reston area
A Fairfax County teenager admitted Monday morning that he strangled and then stabbed 19-year-old Siobhan L. Russell to death in his Reston area bedroom last year, and he pleaded guilty to second degree murder.
Lee T. Wiggins, now 18, told police that he and Russell had been arguing about their relationship inside his house on Magna Carta Road on April 12, 2009. Fairfax Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Gregory O. Holt said that Russell reported that "he blacked out, and when he came to, he was on top of her."
Holt said Wiggins had choked Russell, then plunged a knife directly into her heart. He left the bedroom, informed his father of what he had done, then went to the garage and waited for police, Holt said. He was arrested that day and has been held in custody since then.
An autopsy found that both strangulation and stabbing were the causes of Russell's death, the prosecutor said.
Wiggins was 17 years old at the time, but all murders committed by someone age 14 or older in Virginia must be prosecuted in adult court.
Wiggins faces a sentence of five to 40 years in prison at his next hearing on Oct. 1 before Fairfax Circuit Court Judge David S. Schell. Wiggins' lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Karin Kissiah, said Wiggins had significant mental health issues and originally planned to plead not guilty by reason of insanity. Instead, Wiggins took responsibility for the crime and entered a straight guilty plea with no agreement on a sentence, Kissiah said.
Russell was a recent graduate of Mountain View Alternative School. Wiggins was receiving individualized education as a result of his psychiatric issues, Kissiah said.
-- Tom Jackman
May 17, 2010; 12:36 PM ET
Categories: Fairfax , Homicide , Tom Jackman , Updates
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