State Trying Bigoms For Dismemberment Murder; Though Defense Says There Is Little Proof

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - by Hollie Webb
Tony Bigoms
Tony Bigoms
- photo by Hollie Webb

After a jury selection lasting all day Tuesday, the 14 selected jurors will be sequestered from now until the end of Tony Bigoms' trial for the homicide of Dana Wilkes. When a jury is sequestered, the jurors must stay in a special location throughout the duration of the trial and are not allowed to have access to the Internet or to watch TV.

Bigoms, who was acquitted in 2006 of the murder of Dinah Burney, has again been charged with first-degree murder. He is also charged with abuse of a corpse.

At the time of the murder, Bigoms was on probation because of a prior attempted aggravated sexual battery conviction.

He was arrested on Jan. 16, 2013 after a two-month investigation. Ms. Wilkes was first reported missing on Nov. 10, 2012, but her body was not found until 15 days later. It was discovered, dismembered, in a creek bank by Youngstown Road. Her head and arms had been cut off.

However, assistant public defender Steven Brown has stated, "The unlikeliness of conviction is strong. There is absolutely nothing to connect Mr. Bigoms with the death of Dana Wilkes." Bigoms is represented by attorney Jane Buffaloe.

Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman also agreed that the state had little proof, lowering Bigoms' total bond from $250,000 to $40,000 on the condition that if he made bond he would be required to wear an ankle monitor.

According to Bigoms' attorneys, Bigoms was friends with Ms. Wilkes and her husband, who was in jail at the time of her murder. He told police that on the night of her murder, he rode with Ms. Wilkes to Walmart and a gas station before she dropped him off at the Family Dollar on Brainerd Road.

A former girlfriend of Bigoms' has also stated he was with her later that night.

However, prosecutors have said Bigoms' DNA was found in the clothing on the body. They have also pointed out that the last call the woman received was from Bigoms at 2:30 a.m.

The trial is expected to go into the weekend and possibly Monday.

 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALLGOOD, PHILLIP RICHARD  2603 BELLE ARBOR CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 53 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County VIOLATION OF ORDER OF PROTECTION OR RESTRAINING OR --- AUSTIN, VANCE LEE  6974 BOSTON LANE HIXSON, 37343  Age at Arrest: 71 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Michael Ford Sentenced To More Than 13 Years In Prison On Drug Charges

Michael Shawn Ford has been sentenced to 13 and a half years in prison on drug charges. On April 20, 2105, Ford was arrested at his house in East Ridge. Police found him hiding in the closet with a laundry bag which contained a loaded pistol and 7.9 grams of crystal meth. Officers said that two backpacks were found in the same bedroom, one with 257.3 grams of crystal meth ... (click for more)

Olympic Events On The Ocoee River Made History – But It Wasn’t Easy

It started with a simple “what if” question while Atlanta officials were working on a bid to host the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.  A group of amateur kayakers from the city began asking themselves: “What if Atlanta’s bid is successful? Then where would the Olympic whitewater canoe and kayak races be held?”  To some of the members of that group, the answer was obvious. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Don’t Kick A Man’s Neck

From the minute my brothers and I each became cognizant, my dad started teaching us the rules of becoming a man. Dad was from deep in Mississippi and he’d been taught a lot of life’s secrets from his father. These lessons have been passed for generations and, the older I have become, I’m convinced a lot of them were borne from The Sermon on the Mount. Our favorite, back in the ... (click for more)

Lookouts Get Walk-Off Win Over Smokies Thursday, 4-3

With the score tied at three with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Lookouts outfielder Zack Granite singled home Edgar Corcino to give the team with 4-3 walk-off win over the Smokies.   Tied going into the bottom of the ninth inning, Corcino led off with his second hit of the game. He advanced to second base on a bunt. A Levi Michael single pushed Corcino to third ... (click for more)

Chattanooga FC Hosts NPSL National Semifinal Saturday

All eyes are on Saturday as Chattanooga FC prepares for the NPSL National Championship Semifinal match against Sonoma County Sol at Finley Stadium. In efforts to FILL "FORT" Finley, CFC has extended their discount on $7 tickets until Thursday at 2:00. After 2:00, tickets will be $10 until 6:00 on Saturday, when the price will rise to $12. Tickets are available online at ChattanoogaFC.com.  ... (click for more)