Man found guilty in Lawrence Co. 1992 murder for hire

Man found guilty in Lawrence Co. 1992 murder for hire (Image 1)
Man found guilty in Lawrence Co. 1992 murder for hire (Image 1)

LAWRENCE CO., Tenn. – A Lawrenceburg jury pronounced a Missouri man guilty in connection with the 1992 murder for hire death of Loretto resident Joann Rigling.

Curtis Staggs, 47, of Fredericksburg, Missouri, was indicted by a Lawrence County Grand Jury in August 2010 on charges of first degree murder, felony murder and aggravated robbery.

Joann's husband, 74-year-old Phillip Rigling, of Lawrenceburg, was also indicted.

He faces charges of criminal responsibility for first degree murder, felony murder, and aggravated robbery.

Prosecutors say that he solicited and then paid Staggs $50,000 to kill his wife.

Joann Rigling was working inside Phil's One Stop, a market owned by her husband in St. Joseph, in June 1992 when she was shot and killed.

The gunman then left the store with money from the cash register.

Jimmy Dale Hogan and Tammy Smith were later convicted in connection with the murder.

Hogan was given a life sentence for first degree murder and 20 years for especially aggravated robbery.

Smith was sentenced to 23 years in prison after entering a best interest guilty plea to a charge of second degree murder, but has since been released.

While Hogan was granted a new trial due to “ineffective counsel,” he told investigators that Staggs actually committed the murder.

Hogan had already served 16 years in prison. He was given a plea deal that will allow him to be released in four years.

Staggs' sentencing hearing is set for July 21.

Phillip Rigling's trial is scheduled for December  5.

* LawrenceburgNow contributed to this report.

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