Attorney For Tony Bigoms Urges Jury To Look Closely At Evidence; Prosecutor Says State Has DNA, Cell Phone Proof

Wednesday, April 09, 2014 - by Hollie Webb
Tony Bigoms is led into court
Tony Bigoms is led into court

Defense attorney Jane Buffaloe told a Criminal Court jury on Wednesday that just because Tony Bigoms was a friend who was seen with the murdered patient care technician Dana Wilkes, does not mean he is guilty. She urged the jury to look closely at the evidence throughout the trial.

However, prosecutor Cameron Williams reminded jurors of the DNA evidence and cell phone records. Bigoms' DNA was found in the victim's vehicle and on her bra.

Records show he was the last person to call her phone on the night of her disappearance and placed him near the location of where her vehicle was abandoned. 

Robert Boulware, the son of Dana Wilkes, testified Wednesday morning that when he found his mother's car, it was abandoned on the side of the road in front of the Wilcox Tunnel with blood on the glove compartment.

At this point, he said he had known his mother was missing for several hours. Mr. Boulware was the fourth witness. He received a tip about the location of her car from a concerned co-worker. Ms. Wilkes had not shown up to work that day and no one could get in touch with her. Co-workers who testified said this was very unusual for the woman they described as "very sweet and very dependable." 

Mr. Boulware said he had never heard of Bigoms until he went to search his mother's home. There one of his mother's neighbors handed him a phone, saying someone was on the line asking about his mother. It was Bigoms.

Mr. Boulware said the defendant sounded "concerned" and said he had been with Ms. Wilkes at Walmart the previous night. He said they had gone to get supplies to fix a toilet, after which they parted ways. 

Only one co-worker of Ms. Wilkes said she had ever seen Bigoms before.

When asked by defense attorney Steven Brown, all of her coworkers said they did not know her well personally outside of work. They knew she had married a patient, Tom Wilkes, but they did not know details of her marriage.

Attorney Brown asked Ms. Wilkes' co-workers as well as her son if they had any knowledge of her visiting a drug treatment facility or taking methadone, but all said they did not.

Her former supervisor, Leslie Brown, said, "The first thing you would notice about her is she was just the tiniest thing you've ever seen. She was really petite and full of energy." Ms. Brown also noted that Ms. Wilkes had suffered from diabetes since she was a child and that her health had declined in the past year.

Another witness, Chattanooga Police Officer Reginald Parks, said at the time of Ms. Wilkes' disappearance, her husband had been in jail for approximately a week. Officer Parks said he had been part of the investigation after the missing person report was filed.

He said when he originally talked to Bigoms, Bigoms also told him he had been at Walmart with the victim. He said she gave him a ride and made a comment about "selling pills."

A man who lived near Bigoms also testified. He said on the night of the victim's disappearance, he had given Bigoms a ride to the Family Dollar. He said Bigoms told him he was going to work on a vehicle with a friend. There, he said Bigoms was picked up by a blonde woman driving a green Jeep.

 

 

Attorneys confer with Judge Barry Steelman
Attorneys confer with Judge Barry Steelman
- Photo2 by Hollie Webb

Many Waldens Ridge Scenes Featured In Stokes Picture Book

A number of early views of Waldens Ridge are among the rarities found in the Stokes Photo Collection. There are many photos of the roads up the mountain showing streetcars, wagons and early autos. There are scenes at Rainbow Lake, Falling Water Falls, Signal Point and other scenic spots. Several photos are included of the Signal Mountain Hotel. The more than 700 photos ... (click for more)

Man Shot At Apartments On Tunnel Boulevard Wednesday Afternoon Dies; 2 Juveniles Shot At Rec Center On Oakwood Drive With Suspects In Custody

A 24-year-old man who was shot at the apartment buildings at 404 Tunnel Blvd. on Wednesday at 1:21 p.m. has died. He was identified as Kenny Breylon Hall. Residents said they heard multiple shots fired.  Witnesses said they saw multiple suspects fleeing the scene on foot behind the complex.  Later Wednesday, two people were shot at the Washington Hills Recreation ... (click for more)

Chairs Cost How Much?

Many times while growing up, I would go to the store with my parents. More often than not, I would see something I wanted, and ask my parents to buy it for me. More often than not, they said no. “Why?” I asked. “Son, money doesn’t grow on trees.” That’s a phrase I’m sure many of us have heard more than once over the course of our lives. However, I have since learned that they were ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Dear Friend Luther

One sunny morning in June years ago, the renowned radio icon Luther Masingill was on his way back to the WDEF studios on South Broad Street when he stopped for a red light and noticed a young couple in a car idling next to his familiar light blue Ford pickup. “What caught my eye was a buck-toothed boy eating a banana in the back seat,” he explained in an aside to that day’s lunchtime ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Falls In State Volleyball Semis

SMYRNA, Tenn. – It’s a good thing that Signal Mountain volleyball coach Jennifer Redman is a young lady because her heart might not be able to stand the pressure if she wasn’t. Redman’s Lady Eagles were thisclose to being sent to the loser’s bracket in the opening round of the State Volleyball Tournament here at Stewarts Creek High School Wednesday afternoon. Had it been a ... (click for more)

Boyd-Buchanan Sweeps Loretto To Open Class A State Volleyball

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Playing what coach Alfie Dodd called a sub-par match, Boyd-Buchanan’s Lady Bucs were still good enough to sweep Loretto, 3-0, Wednesday morning in the opening match of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s Class A state volleyball tournament at Blackman High School. Set scores were 25-19, 25-14, 25-20. “We advance and we know we can ... (click for more)