MISSOULA – Two people were sentenced to life in prison on Friday morning for their roles in a gruesome Missoula double murder.
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 Standingrock and Pierce to two counts each of life in prison -to run concurrently- adding that his main goal is to protect the public.
Wheelis then sentenced Pierce to two terms of life in prison, also to run concurrently.
Friday’s sentencing began with the judge issuing a warning to those in the packed courtroom.
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 the 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.
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.
Standingrock was sentenced following a short recess.
Pierce’s defense attorneys 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 then read a statement to the court in regards to his daughter.
Wheelis then sentenced Pierce to two life in prison sentences — to run concurrently — for her role in the deaths.
Conner McCauley and Mark Thorsell/ MTN News