A man who killed a woman and disposed of her naked body on Farwell Road in Mead will spend 16 years in prison.
Robert F. Mead, 29, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and second-degree assault in August.
On Friday, Spokane County Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno accepted a joint recommendation from the prosecution and defense, sentencing Mead to 16 years in prison with three years of community custody.
“It’s unfathomable what you did to her,” Moreno said.
For the assault charge, Moreno sentenced Mead to 14 months in prison with 18 months of community custody. That sentence will run concurrently with the murder sentence.
The assault charge was in relation to an attempted robbery in which Mead stabbed a man in the neck, according to court documents.
Mead was arrested on suspicion of murder in March 2020.
An ambulance crew found Grace Wiggins on Farwell Road in Mead on March 10, 2020, according to court documents. 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. on 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.
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Det. Nathan Bohanek read – while taking pauses fighting back tears – a statement from Wiggins’ mother, Shannon Wiggins, Friday in court.
Bohanek held a blown-up photo of Grace Wiggins while he spoke.
“You cannot possibly understand what it feels like to know the last minutes of your child’s life was spent in fear and agony,” Bohanek read.
He read that Shannon Wiggins gets stress-induced vomiting attacks that hospitalize her, and the attacks are so debilitating it takes weeks or months to recover.
“It’s the reason I’m not standing here before you reading this myself, facing you myself,” Bohanek read on behalf of Shannon Wiggins. “You scarred an entire family.”
Mead, who addressed the court in a yellow jumpsuit, apologized to the deceased Wiggins, her family and the man he stabbed in the neck.
“It is with intense remorse and regret that I stand here today,” he said.
He said the combination of not treating his mental illness for a long time and using drugs made him lose his mind, but there is no excuse for his actions and the unforgivable pain and suffering he caused.
Stephanie Cady, Mead’s attorney, said Mead has no prior criminal history and he does not remember killing Wiggins. She said Mead believed she overdosed.
“There’s no doubt in our mind that Mr. Mead knew exactly what he was doing when he stabbed (the man), and he knew exactly what he was doing when he did what he did to Ms. Wiggins,” Dale Nagy of the Spokane County prosecutor’s office said.
O’Donnal pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery for her role in Wiggins’ death and first-degree attempted robbery for the stabbing incident. She was sentenced Sept. 8.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.