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: ABERCROMBIE, KIMBERLY M  4114 10TH AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37407  Age at Arrest: 41 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County FUGITIVE (CATOOSA COUNTY GA) --- ANDERSON, BRIAN CHRISTOPHER  299 BRELAND STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37415  Age at Arrest: 26 years old Arresting Agency: East Ridge ... (click for more)

City Council To Consider Policy That Job Applicants Would Not Have To Reveal Criminal Records

The City Council on Tuesday night will consider a policy that city job applicants would not have to reveal their criminal past. Councilman Yusuf Hakeem cited problems those with felony records have in securing employment. The policy would go into effect by the first of the year. The resolution says: WHEREAS, the City of Chattanooga (the "City") is committed ... (click for more)

Lung Cancer, The Deadliest Cancer In The United States

This time of year, I remember to give thanks for my faith, my family and friends and my health. Recently, I learned that lung cancer is the deadliest form of cancer in the United States; in fact, more Americans die each year from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. One in 13 men and one in 16 women will develop the disease in their lifetime. It’s important to learn about ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Can’t ‘Ban The Box’

I know a man who has over 20 former convicts from federal prisons who either work for him or who have retired with their dignity, pride, and self-worth restored. Better yet, I know some of them, men who have done “hard time” in prisons so wretched none of us would dare to go. So on the surface I applaud City Councilman Yusef Hakeem for seeing ways to get formerly incarcerated men ... (click for more)

Halftime: UTC 31 Fordham 0

Using a smothering defense and a precision-like offense, UTC scored on all four of its first half possessions, plus an interception for a score, to lead 31-0 at halftime. The Mocs defense has kept the Rams off the scoreboard with drive stopping plays  - an interception for a touchdown and one stop on fourth down at the Mocs 27..  In the second most productive ... (click for more)

Alcoa Ends Notre Dame's Season With 42-2 Setback

ALCOA -- It's hard to get past the cold hard facts. Notre Dame's Fighting Irish football team had another outstanding season, but it ended the same way as last year with a semifinal loss to the Alcoa Tornadoes. It wasn't as close as last year's 28-19 defeat as Alcoa gave up a safety in its first possession before scoring 42 straight points, winning for the 10th straight week ... (click for more)