Nav Bar NEW

Check our new test website

IT'S WORKING!

The front page

Riggs pleads not guilty

By NICK NARIGON

Peter Ilo Riggs pleaded not guilty to the Interstate 80 rest stop killing of Jeffrey McAdam.

According to the arraignment order filed June 21, Riggs, 31, Columbus, Neb., pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and demanded a speedy trial.

Because a speedy trial was demanded, Riggs’ trial must be held within 90 days of the filing of the trial information.

His pretrial conference is set for July 26 at 10 a.m. His trial date has yet to be set.

Riggs is accused of shooting McAdam, 46, Victor, the night of Saturday, May 29, at the Victor rest area along I-80. McAdam was working there at the time. At approximately 7:49 p.m., Riggs allegedly shot McAdam in the lower back in the men’s rest room. McAdam died at the scene from a single gun shot wound.

According to the search warrants, investigators recovered a single brass shell from a 9 mm handgun and a single bullet consistent in size and shape of a 9 mm round.

At approximately 10:45 p.m., Riggs reportedly came upon Deputy Sergeant Dan Quiles of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department along eastbound I-80 near mile marker 253. Riggs allegedly told Quiles that he was wanted and he wished to turn himself in.

Quiles ran a search on Riggs and did not find any outstanding warrants. He searched Riggs’ 1995 Dodge Spirit and found a 9 mm Ruger pistol located in the vehicle and another loaded 9 mm Smith and Wesson pistol in the trunk. Riggs was arrested on a weapons charge and taken to Johnson County Jail.

Iowa Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Special Agent Dan Simmons interviewed Riggs at the Johnson County Jail. Riggs allegedly confessed that he had shot a person at the rest area.

Iowa County Sheriff Robert Rotter and Iowa County Deputy Todd Sauerbrei traveled to Nebraska and interviewed Riggs’ grandmother, Ida Riggs, his uncle John Riggs and his cousin Jane Voboril at Ida Riggs’ residence in Lincoln, Neb. Peter Riggs had lived at his grandmother’s residence for approximately 24 years.

Ida and John said Peter often kept a journal. John Riggs stated if Peter had his lap top computer with him, it would be likely that he would have kept a journal in it.

According to the Sauerbrei’s statement, it is his experience that in cases similar to this, individuals sometimes record their intentions either on a video recording or by drafting a document on the computer in addition to any hand written notes.

Investigators did seize a Compag Presario lap top computer and a Samsung video camera from Riggs’ vehicle.

In addition, investigators seized two Motorola cell phones, one double-bladed knife, one Muscleman 100,000 volt stun device and one box of ammunition with 31 rounds.

UPDATED June 29, 2010 10:42 AM

Ad contacts Media guide Register link USA Today Link Benton photo link Iowa Photo link Poweshiek photo link