Texas Judge Nixes grants lenient plea for man who killed estranged woman’s dogs – Crime Online

A Texas judge this week rejected a plea deal offered to a Waco man who admitted to killing his ex-wife’s dog and laying their bodies in his parking lot at the church where she worked.

The McLennan County District Attorney’s Office offered Scott Riggleman 10 years of deferred probation in exchange for his guilty plea to two counts of cruelty to non-farmed animals, KWTX reported.

Judge Thomas West allowed Riggleman to withdraw his guilty plea and set the case down for trial. Riggleman will also be tried for making terrorist threats, a misdemeanor. He faces up to 10 years in prison for cruelty.

Riggleman had also threatened to kill himself and his wife and was initially charged with harassment, but District Attorney Josh Tetens decided not to pursue that charge.

Neither Tetens nor Riggleman’s attorney commented after the judge’s decision.

Riggleman and his wife separated in September 2022 and he was admitted to a hospital under an emergency detention order after police said he threatened to kill himself and his wife.

He was arrested in December when his ex-wife reported finding the bodies of his black Labrador, Smoky and white pit bull mix, Frankie, in his work parking lot. A witness also reported that she and her husband found the dogs when they were taking their daughter to school and were stabbed and shot multiple times in the chest, neck and side.

Riggleman’s wife told police she found a note on his car the day before Riggleman said he needed to meet her and that he was ‘going to lose his beloved pets now too’ because of the separation.

An affidavit of arrest says he threatened to come to his wife’s workplace to kill her, his co-workers and himself, and that she and another relative saw him parked in front of the church as they were leaving one evening in November.

Another time, she said, he followed her from work, tricking her into driving “erratically” to get away from him.

“The victim indicated that she feared for her life and made statements suggesting that she had altered her home and work life out of fear that the defendant would harm or kill her,” an affidavit reads. “She also believed that the dogs had been left at her workplace in a way intended to alarm her and suggest that she would also be killed by the accused.”

Riggleman remains behind bars on $40,000 bond.

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[Featured image: Scott Riggleman/McLennan County Sheriff’s Office]

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