Albuquerque, New Mexico – Jason Skaggs, 36, appeared in District Court in Albuquerque today and was sentenced to serve 30 years and six months for his role in the in the mistaken identity murder of newlywed Scott Pierce at Pierce’s home in June 2008.
In July, Skaggs appeared before Judge Ross Sanchez and entered pleas of guilty to:
1. Second Degree Murder (Firearm Enhancement)
2. Aggravated Burglary with a Deadly Weapon (Firearm Enhancement)
3. Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Burglary with a Deadly Weapon
4. Criminal Solicitation to Commit Murder
During sentencing today, members of the Pierce family, as well as homicide detective Michael Fox of the Albuquerque Police Department addressed the court asking for the imposition of all 30 ½ years of incarceration available under the plea agreement reached in July. Kathryn Pierce, the widow of Scott Pierce, noted that she had agreed to the terms of the plea agreement because it spared her and her family from reliving the tragedy of their loss.
Skaggs lowered his head and openly wept during this portion of the hearing, but later addressed the court himself asking for leniency. In pronouncing the sentence, Judge Sanchez called Skaggs “a central figure in this horrible tragedy that took the life of Scott Pierce.”
In announcing the verdict, District Attorney Kari Brandenburg adds that, “This sentencing is bittersweet for all involved. So many of the members of our office have become close to the Pierce family throughout this tragic ordeal. But, we are glad that we have finally reached a point in this case where we can all feel like some small measure of justice has been achieved.”
Prosecutors with the Gang Crimes Division of the District Attorney’s Office prosecuted this case. The office is led by District Attorney Kari Brandenburg, who is serving her third term in the position since first being elected in 2001.