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.


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