Johnnie Lee Wiggins, the man accused of , pleaded not guilty Thursday to a charge of second-degree murder.
If convicted, Wiggins faces at least a standard sentence of about 20 years in prison.
King County prosecutors also filed an allegation that the murder was committed within the presence of a minor. Hockley’s 13-year-old daughter heard part of the attack and found her mother lying on the ground outside their Seattle home on Christmas Eve (). That fact can be used as a basis for an exceptional sentence, which could include life in prison, according to Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for the King County Prosecutor's Office.
Wiggins, a semi-professional body builder, has a history of convictions for violent attacks and is known to use steroids. After a 2008 release from prison in Georgia, he requested and was allowed to complete his probation in Washington state. In May 2011, Wiggins was arrested in Washington after reportedly assaulting his probation officer. At the time, according to court documents, a “large quantity” of illegal steroids was found in his home. He was arrested, and later released and ordered to return to Georgia and report to a probation officer there.
, but for about two months before Hockley's death, he worked in Woodinville at the Gold Creek Tennis & Sports Club as an independent personal trainer, according to the club owner. An employee at Gold’s Gym in Redmond, who did not want her name used, said he also worked there as a personal trainer. A manager there did not return Patch's phone calls.
A case setting hearing is scheduled for Jan. 24 at 1 p.m. in courtroom 1201 at the King County Courthouse in Seattle. Wiggins remains in jail on $5 million bail.
A is scheduled for Jan. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Center For Urban Horticulture at the University of Washington in Seattle.