Polk County Sheriff’s Office have released the chilling CCTV footage from the Dollar General store on the night of the killing.As Sheriff Grady Judd described, it shows suspect Tony “TJ” Wiggins nonchalantly chatting with victim Damion Tillman while standing behind him in the queue.After leaving the store, TJ would trail Damion to where he met his two friends, and — less than ten minutes after this video was shot — will have brutally murdered all three, Judd alleges.
Two men and a woman have been arrested in connection to the murder of three best friends in Florida.
Tony “TJ” Wiggins, 26, his girlfriend Mary Whittemore, 27, and his 21-year-old brother William “Robert” Wiggins are accused in the triple homicide that rocked the quiet town of Frostproof on July 17.TJ, identified as the shooter by Sheriff Grady Judd at a press conference Wednesday morning, has been charged with first degree murder, tampering with evidence, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.Robert was charged with tampering with evidence, and accessory after the fact of capital felony; while Whittemore was also charged with accessory after the fact.Explaining the timeline of the night of the attack, Sheriff Judd said one of the victims — Damion Tillman — encountered the trio at a Dollar General store, less than ten minutes before the fatal ambush.
The clerk said she overheard Tillman talking about the fishing trip; surveillance footage shows Damion having a conversation with TJ, who was behind him in the queue; while there is no audio, Sheriff Judd said body language showed it was “not violent or animated, just a normal conversation.”
The clerk confirmed that TJ snapped to attention when he heard another of the victims, Keven Springfield, would be in the fishing party.
“When they left the store, TJ directed Robert (who was driving) to turn onto a particular road, instead of going home,” the Sheriff’s Office statement read.
“Two trucks, occupied by the three victims, passed Robert on that road, at which time TJ told Robert to make a U-turn and follow the trucks.”
They followed the friends until their two trucks stopped near the lake, at which point TJ jumped out and allegedly pulled a gun on Brandon and Damion, demanding to know where Keven was, who was in the other truck.
Running to Keven’s vehicle, he pointed the gun at him and demanded: “Where’s my truck?”, accusing him of selling the engine out of his truck, Sheriff Judd said.
After telling TJ that he didn’t know what he was talking about, Sheriff Judd said TJ started punching Keven, before opening fire on all three friends.
Robert, who told detectives he never left the truck and watched the whole thing, said his brother then called him out to help him put Damion’s body in the back of one of the trucks, according to law enforcement.
They then drove away, stripped down the gun and threw it away, Sheriff Judd said.
Afterwards, they drove to McDonald’s and ordered ten double cheeseburgers and two McChicken sandwiches, before going home to eat.
Sheriff Judd said the three accused lied and contradicted each other frequently in their stories in an attempt to protect one another, but that their McDonald’s order was the only thing consistent in all three.
After receiving several tip-offs, police served search warrants on a strip of land where all three suspects were living in trailers “off the grid”, with no running water or electricity.
They found ammunition casings which forensic testing showed was from the same gun fired on the night of the killings.
Whittemore admitted purchasing the ammunition the week before, and to being with the brothers on the night of the murder, before she became uncooperative with detectives, Judd said.
While she had a completely clean criminal record and Robert had only one misdemeanor arrest to his name, TJ had 230 felonies with 15 convictions, and 2 trips to state prison, including several armed burglary charges, weapons charges, and assault and battery charges, some of which were on elderly people and police officers.”230 felonies. I didn’t stutter,” Sheriff Judd exclaimed, expressing his own shock at TJ’s record, which listed a first arrest at 12 years old.
“He’s a thug. He’s a criminal. He’s pure evil in the flesh. He’s wild and he’s out of control,” he said, revealing that at the time of the murder, TJ was actually out on bond after breaking someone’s arm with a crowbar.
Judd also expressed his exasperation at the senselessness of the crime, pointing out that the usual motives of drugs, alcohol, money, or domestic incidents were not involved.
“The only information we have is TJ was allegedly mad over some kind of truck deal that happened some period of time ago,” he said, adding that investigators hadn’t even had a chance to look into that.