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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Man pleads guilty to murdering woman in March 2020

Aug. 5, 2021 Updated Fri., Aug. 6, 2021 at 1:18 p.m.

Spokane County Courthouse. (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)  (C)
Spokane County Courthouse. (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW) (C)

A man who killed a woman in March 2020 and left her nude body on Farwell Road in Mead pleaded guilty in court to second-degree murder and second-degree assault.

The sentencing will be in October, but the Spokane County  prosecutor’s office recommended 29-year-old Robert F. Mead get 16 years in prison with three years of community custody. The maximum sentence for second-degree murder is life in prison with a $50,000 fine. For second-degree assault, the maximum sentence is 10 years and a $20,000 fine.

For the assault charge, the prosecutor recommended 40 months that would run in concurrence with the sentence for second-degree murder. The assault charge was in relation to an attempted robbery in which Mead stabbed a man in the neck, according to court documents.

The prosecutor said the state would seek restitution for the assault.

Mead was arrested on suspicion of murder in March 2020. According to court documents obtained by The Spokesman-Review, an ambulance crew found Grace Wiggins on Farwell Road in Mead on March 10, 2020. Several witnesses and responding officers saw a plastic bag over her head and a fishing line on the road near her body.

The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Wiggins’ death a homicide by strangulation.

Security footage showed Wiggins getting into a car later identified as Journey O’Donnal’s around 3 p.m. March 9, 2020, the day before the crew found her body, court records say. O’Donnal was Mead’s girlfriend at the time.

When they arrested Mead and O’Donnal, Mead told investigators he had picked up “some homeless chick” matching Wiggins’ description and drove her to their apartment. Court documents did not confirm whether Wiggins was unhoused.

He initially claimed to investigators Wiggins died of a heroin overdose and they got rid of her body to cover the fact that Mead was living with O’Donnal without the permission of O’Donnal’s landlord. Mead at the time also told investigators he did not want to be accused of being a “drug dealer,” according to court docs.

According to police, they had evidence Mead and O’Donnal got rid of Wiggins’ belongings in several dumpsters and put her phone in a kiosk at the Northtown Mall.

O’Donnal pleaded guilty in September to first-degree robbery for her role in Wiggins’ death and first-degree attempted robbery for the stabbing incident. Sentencing for O’Donnal is scheduled for Aug. 30.

Editor’s note: This article was changed on Aug. 6, 2021 to correct the name of the Spokane County prosecutor’s office.

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