DNA, Cell Phone Evidence Tie Bigoms To Murder Of Dana Wilkes; Final Arguments On Monday Morning

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The state used DNA and cell phone evidence to tie Tony Bigoms to the murder of Dana Wilkes on the last day of testimony at the City-County Courts Building on Saturday.

A phone expert pinpointed that Bigoms and Ms. Wilkes were near the same location in East Chattanooga at 2:30 a.m. near where her dismembered body was eventually found. The expert said they both were calling using the same cell tower. 

Also, an expert from the TBI crime lab said DNA found on the bra of Ms. Wilkes in woods near her body matched that of Bigoms.

DNA was also taken from Bigoms in a prior murder case. He was acquitted of the murder of Dinah Burney in a trial in 2006. The jury in the Wilkes trial in the courtroom of Judge Barry Steelman was not told of the prior murder charge.

Witnesses said Bigoms had Dana Wilkes listed under Dinah in his cell phone contacts.

The defense did not put on any proof.

Final arguments will begin Monday morning. Prosecutors are Lance Pope and Cameron Williams. Defense attorneys from the public defender's office are Steve Brown and Jane Buffaloe.

Ms. Wilkes was reported missing on Nov. 10, 2012, under suspicious circumstances. Her dismembered body was recovered on Nov. 25, 2012 along the creek bank at 3700 Youngstown Road. 

Ms. Burney was found dead alongside Caine Lane in Brainerd on the morning of Feb. 17, 2002. Ms. Burney’s hands were bound behind her back.

An autopsy ruled the cause of death as strangulation. Police initially did not even know who Ms. Burney was. Once she was identified police began retracing her steps. Authorities identify the last place Ms. Burney was known alive as a “drug house” in the 2100 block of Citico Avenue. She had apparently left that location sometime early Sunday morning with an unidentified person.

The vehicle she had borrowed from a friend was still parked on Citico Avenue and the keys were in the victim’s pocket when her body was found. It is likely that the victim was killed somewhere else and her body dumped on Caine Lane, police said.

1 Person Seriously Injured In Bradley County Stabbing

One person was seriously injured in a Monday night stabbing on 27 th Street, just off Buchanan Road, in Bradley County. One person was transported to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga for treatment of a wound to the upper body. Members of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Investigations Division have detained one person for questioning. (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, CORBIN BLAKE  659 SPARKS STREET RINGGOLD, 30763  Age at Arrest: 24 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County DOMESTIC ASSAULT --- ADELABU, SYLVESTER ADETORO  3209 20TH ST NE CLEVELAND, 37323  Age at Arrest: 35 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County AGGRAVATED CRIMINAL ... (click for more)

Why Chattanooga Should Stop Granting Apartment Complex PILOTs

A new report indicates why Chattanooga and Hamilton County officials do not need to extend PILOTs to apartment complex developers. Demand is high, therefore developers will continue to build to meet the demand without PILOTs. What is truly needed in the Chattanooga metroplex is low-income affordable housing. “Homeownership Drops to Lowest Level in Decades” ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Gun Control? Accuracy!

When President Barack Obama responded to the tragic killing of nine people who were worshiping at their beloved Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., last month, he immediately blamed the gun, saying, “We don't have all the facts, but we do know that once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hand on ... (click for more)

Dalton Edges Stuart Heights To Conclude Unbeaten Regular Season

The Dalton Dolphins had several key goals when the 2015 Chattanooga Area Swim League season began on the first day of June and they can put a big check mark by the first one, which was to go undefeated in the ever-competitive Blue division. They accomplished that goal before dark on Monday as they defeated a much-improved Stuart Heights squad by a 404-386 final that may have ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Hosts Nashville Friday In NPSL Playoffs

Chattanooga will host this weekend's National Premier Soccer League Southeast Conference playoffs. There are two semifinal matches on Friday with the two winners meeting in the Championship match the following night. “We’re very proud of the team for winning home field advantage,” said board member Krue Brock. “Now that every game is a must-win situation, it will be a big help ... (click for more)