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.

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ABLES, JAMIE SHAWN  3449 HALL STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37415  Age at Arrest: 27 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga FRAUDULENT USE OF CREDIT CARD THEFT OF PROPERTY FUGITIVE (ARREST FOR CRIME IN ANOTHER STATE) --- BAILEY, COREY DEON  2440 4TH AVE APT 4 CHATTANOOGA, 37402  Age at ... (click for more)

Man Convicted Of 5th DUI To Lose Driver's License For 8 Years

A man who picked up his fifth DUI since 2006 pleaded guilty in Criminal Court on Thursday. Pablo Figueroa, 32, appeared before Judge Barry Steelman. Prosecutor Tom Landis said on April 1 Figuero was found passed out drunk behind the steering wheel of a vehicle that had its engine running. He was also charged with driving without a license and violation of the open container ... (click for more)

White Coat Syndrome And The Medical System - And Response (2)

Today I wish to share what I am feeling as a patient in our medical system. I am too old to put on airs at this point, and this is too pervasive of a problem for me to contain.   As I enter my AARP years, I am faced with so many medical encounters that evoke all kinds of uncomfortable feelings. I dread physician’s appointments riddled with government regulatory hypocrisy, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: County Commissioners Not Getting Bang For Their School Bucks

The Hamilton County School Board passed a balanced budget to present to the County Commission at a Special Called Meeting on Thursday night. They also attached a prioritized list of $24.5 million in critical needs for the County Commission to consider that will never see the light of day. The long and short of it is easy to see -- the County Commissioners have had enough. It ... (click for more)

Sales' Grand Slam Leads Lady Owls To 6-2 Comeback Win

Cheyenne Sales came close to hitting two home runs on Tuesday. She atoned for those close calls a day later with a grand slam in a five-run fourth inning and powered Ooltewah to a 6-2 victory over gritty East Hamilton in District 5-3A softball action at Jim Lovell Field. “That’s the first grand slam I’ve hit this season,” said Sales, who finished with five RBIs. “The pitch ... (click for more)

Prep Tennis: Hixson Girls, Red Bank Boys Win District Titles

Playing for the District 6 A-AA tennis title, it came down to No.2 doubles with the overall match tied at 4 all. Hixson’s Amy Carranza and Sydney Buckner defeated Grace Brown and Cheyenne Cummings, of Red Bank, 8-6, Thursday at the Hixson Rec Center courts to give the host Wildcats the district championship, 5-4, for the second straight year and fourth title in five years. ... (click for more)