Judge Lowers Bond For Man Charged In Dismemberment Murder; Attorney Says State Has No Proof Against Bigoms

Monday, August 26, 2013

Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman on Monday lowered the bond for the man charged with killing a woman whose head and arms were cut off, saying he agreed with the defense that the state has little proof against Tony Bigoms.

In the case involving the death of Dana Wilkes, the bond was lowered to $30,000 on murder and abuse of a corpse charges and $10,000 on violation of terms of his probation supervision for life on a prior sex assault conviction. Bigoms had been held on bonds totaling $250,000.

The judge said if Bigoms makes bond he will have to wear an ankle bracelet provided by House Arrest Systems of Tennessee. Joel Davenport of the firm said it will include a GPS device so that the whereabouts of Bigoms will be known at all times.

Steven Brown, assistant public defender, said, "The unlikeliness of conviction is strong. There is absolutely nothing to connect Mr. Bigoms with the death of Dana Wilkes."

However, prosecutor Neal Pinkston said the DNA of Bigoms was found on the bra of Ms. Wilkes that was found on the shoulder of Youngstown Road. Her body was found some 30 feet away on the banks of South Chickamauga Creek.

He said the DNA of Ms. Wilkes and Bigom was found on a cigarette that was in her 2000 green Jeep Cherokee.

Prosecutor Pinkston, noting the dismemberment of the victim, said Bigoms had been acquitted of a prior murder in which there was DNA evidence found in that victim's mouth and under her fingernails.

He also said that the last cell phone call received by Ms. Wilkes was from Bigoms at 2:30 a.m. shortly after she disappeared on the previous night of Nov. 9, 2012.

Concerning the bra testimony, attorney Brown said Bigoms was friends with Ms. Wilkes and her husband and had been with them on prior occasions. He said Bigoms denies having any sexual contact with her. The victim's husband was in jail at the time.

Attorney Brown said Bigoms stated that he may have accidentally called the Wilkes phone.

A girlfriend of Bigoms said he was with her in bed at 11 p.m. on Nov. 9, 2012, and was in the bed when she work up the next morning. She said she takes sleeping pills and is a heavy sleeper.

Attorney Brown said Bigoms told authorities he was with Ms. Wilkes at the Brainerd Walmart and the Murphy gas station shortly before 9 p.m. on Nov. 9. He said she then dropped him off at the Family Dollar several miles away on Brainerd Road.

Detectives found video showing the pair at Walmart and Murphy's. At the gas station, Bigoms pumped gas while Ms. Wilkes went in for cigarettes.

Attorney Brown said there were several thorough searches at three locations where Bigoms stayed. He said a number of items were sent to the TBI and nothing significant turned up.

Prosecutor Pinkston said investigators found a pair of his tennis shoes that had been bleached. The shoe strings were missing. The girlfriend said he had cleaned the shoes.

Attorney Brown said Bigoms was a landscaping student at Chattanooga State and it was not unusual to clean and dye their shoes.  

The case was set for trial next Feb. 18. 

 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALLMON, MELISSA LYNNE  1608 NORTH CHESTER ROAD HIXSON, 37343  Age at Arrest: 26 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County VIOLATION OF PROBATION (POSS. OF CONTROLLED SUBSTA --- ANDERSON, ANDREA AUSTIN  1109 COPPERWOOD DRIVE HIXSON, 37343  Age at Arrest: 31 years old Arresting ... (click for more)

Man Arrested After 100 Pounds Of Marijuana Found By The THP

A man was arrested after 100 pounds of marijuana were found in his vehicle. Trooper Richard Thomas of the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) Interdiction Plus (IP) East Bureau conducted a traffic stop on a motorhome on I-24 Eastbound in Marion County on Wednesday.  The driver stated he was traveling from Colorado going back home to Miami. Upon interviewing the driver Trooper ... (click for more)

Pedestrians Have The Right Of Way - And Response (2)

Often I visit Gold's Gym at Chestnut and 4th Street. I  park in the theater parking lot at Broad and 4th Street.  I depend on the walk signs to get me there safely.  Most days I almost get hit by someone turning left or right coming from the exit ramp off 27 or turning right on 4th street from Chestnut. This happened yesterday as I was almost mowed down by a garbage ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Gold & Ivory Tablecloth

Not long ago, in my morning reading, I happened across an obscure tale about a special tablecloth. And, as things like this are more and more wont to do, I was instantly blessed by this story. As I tracked down its origin, I learned it originally appeared in a 1954 edition of Reader’s Digest. Written by the Rev. Howard C. Schade, who at the time was the pastor of the First Reformed ... (click for more)

McColley Scores 4 TDs As McCallie Crushes Blackman, 49-10

Senior running back Shawn McColley struck early and often Friday night, scoring McCallie’s first four touchdowns and propelling the Blue Tornado to a 49-10 rout of Blackman at Spears Stadium. Once the game started at 8 p.m. – there was a 30-minute lightning delay – the Blue Tornado needed just 60 seconds to get on the scoreboard. McColley did the honors from 10 yards out. ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Beats Tyner In Weather-Delayed Game, 25-7

The Tyner-Notre Dame football game finally ended early Saturday morning. After enduring a so-called weather delay that sent the two teams to their dressing rooms for almost two and a half hours, the home-standing Irish improved to 2-0 with the 25-7 non-district win at Notre Dame. Sophomore kicker Andy McMeen squibbed a line-drive kick 35 yards for a field goal with 2:10 ... (click for more)