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

Wednesday, April 9, 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

Upcoming City Council Agenda For Tuesday

Here is the upcoming City Council agenda: I. Call to Order. II. Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation (Councilman Gilbert). III. Minute Approval. IV. Special Presentation. “Mediation Awareness Week Proclamation” By Councilwoman Carol Berz V. Ordinances – Final Reading : (None) VI. Ordinances – First Reading : POLICE a. An ordinance to amend Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Senator David Perdue Introduces Bill To Prohibit Cash Payments To State Sponsors Of Terror

Senator David Perdue (R-Ga.), this week introduced legislation that would prohibit the federal government from providing cash or precious metal payments to nations designated as state sponsors of terrorism.   “It is our job to safeguard Americans’ tax dollars and fund the government’s primary responsibilities like providing for the national defense,” said Senator ... (click for more)

Who's Investigating The Mayor And His Administration?

Thank you, Tony Sanders, for having the courage to stand up and speak out about the mayor and his current administration using an encryption app for text communications.  Making a public statement against the mayor could not have been easy.  This current administration has shown it can be mean spirited and vindictive.  I applaud your audacity.  As a citizen ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Knobfather & Me

I’ve seen some beautiful things in my life. I’ve eaten dinner inside the Eiffel Tower with the city of Paris all aglitter below. I’ve been sprayed by champagne in the Dallas Cowboys’ dressing room after they won the Super Bowl. I’ve stood both at the top and at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I’ve snorkeled in the Great Exuma islands, learned to snow ski in the Austrian Alps, and ... (click for more)

Cleveland Rolls Into 5-3A Volleyball Tourney As Favorite

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Despite posting a one-loss District 5-3A regular season record, Cleveland volleyball coach Trish Powers acknowledges that her Lady Blue Raiders need serious work on several aspects of their game before starting the postseason tournament as the No. 1 seed. “Our senior class went above and beyond what the coaches expected and our growth as a team has been good,” ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Volleyballers Power Past Ooltewah

Signal Mountain unleashed a potent front-line attack on Ooltewah on Thursday and the Lady Eagles blew past the Lady Owls 3-0 in  non-district volleyball action at Edward M. Foster Gymnasium. The set scores were 25-19, 25-22 and 25-15. Signal Mountain’s Aubrie Johnson, Maia Rackel and Olivia Powers combined for 30 kills and that proved to be a deciding factor in the ... (click for more)