Waco man accused of killing estranged woman’s dogs pleads guilty, asks judge to put him on probation

WACO, TX (KWTX) – A Waco man who killed his estranged wife’s two dogs and left their bodies in the parking lot of his workplace asked a judge to grant him probation Thursday.

Scott Riggleman, 63, pleaded guilty to two counts of cruelty to non-livestock animals in exchange for a McLennan County District Attorney’s sentence recommendation that Riggleman be placed on probation for 10 years and have no further contact with his wife.

Judge Thomas West of Waco’s 19th District Court accepted his guilty plea and will sentence Riggleman on June 15 after reviewing a presentence report prepared by probation officers.

Riggleman, who faced up to 10 years in prison for the third-degree felony, was also charged in the incident with stalking, a felony, and making terroristic threats, a misdemeanor. Prosecutors have not declined to pursue harassment charges, and a felony count remains pending.

Riggleman’s attorney, Sandy Gately, delayed commenting on the case pending Riggleman’s sentencing.

According to arrest records, Riggleman was checked into a medical facility under an emergency restraining order in September after police said he threatened his wife and himself.

He was arrested in December after his estranged wife reported on Dec. 5 that she found the bodies of his black labrador, Smokey, and his white pit bull mix, Frankie, in his parking lot at a church in the 9300 block. Panther Road.

Officers also spoke with a witness who reported that she and her husband discovered the dogs while taking their daughter to school. They noted that both dogs had stabbed and shot him multiple times in the chest, neck and side before placing their bodies in his parking lot, according to the arrest affidavit.

Riggleman’s estranged wife reported that she found a handwritten note in her car outside the church the previous day, in which Riggleman said he needed to meet her. The note also said he was “now losing his beloved pets as well,” a reference to their separation in September, his estranged wife told officers.

The affidavit states that Riggleman threatened to come to her workplace and kill her, her co-workers and then herself. He also reported that he and a relative saw Riggleman after he left work one evening in November and stopped by the church. Another time, he reported, Riggleman followed him and he had to drive “erraticly” to get away from him.

“The victim advised that she was in fear for her life and stated that she had changed her home life and work out of fear that the defendant would hurt or kill her,” the affidavit said. “He also believed that the dogs were placed at his workplace in a way that alerted him and suggested that he was also killed by the accused.”

Riggleman remains in the McLennan County Jail under bonds totaling $40,000.

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