I-80 Rest Stop Murder Suspect Confesses In Letter: 'Glad To Do It'

By Trish Mehaffey, Reporter

Peter Riggs


By Richard Pratt

MARENGO, Iowa - The Nebraska man accused of killing an Iowa maintenance worker at an I-80 rest stop in May sent a letter to the court admitting his guilt and saying he shot the man because he hated him.

Peter Riggs, 32, of Columbus, Neb., charged with first-degree murder, said in the brief letter “I give up” and he was “glad to do it. I drove back so I could do it.” He also said he hated white and black people.

The letter was filed Thursday in Iowa County District Court.

Riggs is accused of shooting and killing Jeffrey McAdam, 46, of Victor, who was working at the rest stop in Victor May 29. McAdam was found shot in the men’s restroom.

Riggs also has admitted his guilt before, in a previous letter to the court filed in September. In that letter, he said he wanted to fire his attorney, Johnson County Public Defender Peter Persaud, because he “pleaded guilty” to the shooting. A few weeks later during a hearing he withdrew his motion to fire his attorney and wanted to continue his trial date.

Riggs hasn’t filed a formal plea of guilt. He filed a not guilty plea at his arraignment after being charged.

His trial is set for Dec. 14.

Riggs also has a pending charge of carrying weapons in Johnson County. Riggs was arrested in Johnson County about three hours after McAdam’s body was found. The murder weapon, a handgun, was found in Riggs’ possession.

Deputies found a loaded 9 mm Ruger handgun inside a cooler in the front passenger area of Riggs’ car, and a second 9 mm gun was recovered from the trunk and a stun gun in the passenger area, according to court records. Riggs told deputies he didn’t have a permit to carry the guns.

Riggs is set for trial on the gun charge Jan. 31.

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