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: ALVAREZ, MARCELINO P  207 LAWS AVE #A CHATTANOOGA, 37411  Age at Arrest: 45 years old Arresting Agency: Tenn Highway Patrol DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE --- ARNOLD, DERRICK  5191 CENTRAL AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37401  Age at Arrest: 27 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DRIVING ON ... (click for more)

Bradley County Authorities Hold Active Shooter Drill

The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, Cleveland Fire Department, Bradley County Fire and Rescue, Bradley County 911 Communications Center, and Bradley County Emergency Management Agency took part in an active shooter exercise early this morning at Bradley Central High School to evaluate tactics and technologies for responding to and containing rapidly escalating shooting incidents. ... (click for more)

A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

All of us who marvel at the sound of bagpipes at a funeral realize the majesty that people like piper Scottie Maclellan can lend to any “homecoming” and for years there has been a wonderful tale out of Nova Scotia that leads this week’s parade of The  Saturday  Funnies. Mind you, I do not write these stories, as many who have followed man’s laughter down through the ... (click for more)

Orange Overwhelms White, 34-7, In Tennessee Spring Game

KNOXVILLE – After almost a month of spring camp and four quarters of ones versus twos, one glaring question remains: how much will the fall arrival of graduate transfer Keller Chryst change the dynamic of the battle for starting quarterback?   While new Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt was calling for an electric atmosphere at Saturday’s Orange and White game, the ... (click for more)

Stoker, Tate Prevail In 50th Chickamauga Chase 15K

They couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day weather-wise for the oldest and longest running race on the Chattanooga Track Club’s schedule. Temperatures were cool, but not cold, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.   Add to that the fact there was very little wind and you have perfect conditions for the 50 th Annual Chickamauga Chase. A lot has changed with this ... (click for more)