Tony Bigoms re-trial: Witness saw Bigoms meet up with Dana Wilkes before murder
UPDATE (Friday, September 13th):
The massive water main break has affected the Tony Bigoms re-trial, but it still went on for a little while.
Two witnesses who were flown in from out of town will testify, and then court will adjourn for the weekend.
Depend on us to keep you posted.
UPDATE (Thursday, September 12):
Attorneys spent the third day of the trial piecing together who they believe Dana Wilkes was with on the last day they think she was seen alive.
Dana Wilkes was last seen on Friday, November 9, 2012.
A man who knew the suspect Tony Bigoms testified in 2014 that he gave Bigoms a ride to a local dollar store because Bigoms said he needed to meet up with friends to fix a car.
The man said the only person he saw arrive at the store was a woman. Prosecutors say that woman was Wilkes.
Attorneys also say there’s video evidence and bank record that prove Bigoms and Wilkes were together later that night at a Brainerd Walmart.
A Sergeant with the Chattanooga Police Department says the next day, Wilkes’ green Jeep was found on Wilcox Boulevard with Wilkes’ blood inside.
On November 16, they executed a search warrant where Bigoms lived.
Just before court released tonight, a woman who said she lived and shared a bed with Bigoms testified that she never saw Bigoms after Dana Wilkes went missing. The woman told the jury she saw Bigoms bleach a pair of shoes in their apartment around the time Wilkes went missing. She said Bigoms has never done it before, but does consider the man on trial a "neat freak," and likes things clean. She said the night Wilkes went missing, Bigoms never came home, and he never lived with him again.
Tonight, we also spoke with the son of Dana Wilkes, Robert Boulware, who has been sitting in court all week listening to every detail and seeing every graphic image regarding his mothers murder in 2012. He tells us it's difficult revisiting a trial in which he previously testified to in 2014.
"I was thinking it was book closed. I was thinking it was done," said Boulware.
He says that oddly enough, some of it makes him happy, like hearing his mother's voice through surveillance video. Boulware says if his mother was here today and saw this trial unfold, here's what she would say:
"Be kinder, gentler, and don’t be ugly is basically what she would say."
This is a developing story and will be updated.
PREVIOUSLY (Wednesday, September 11):
With a jury seated, testimony began Wednesday morning in the re-trial of Tony Bigoms, the man accused of killing and dismembering a Chattanooga woman back in 2012.
Bigoms is accused in the death of Dana Wilkes, whose mutilated body was found near the South Chickamauga Creek on November 25th, 2012.
A jury convicted Bigoms in of Wilkes' murder in 2014. But his attorneys successfully argued in 2015 that Bigoms deserved a re-trial based on evidence and potential problems with jury sequestration. A Tennessee Court of Appeals granted the request for a retrial.
Jurors were selected yesterday, and the prosecution began calling witnesses after both sides made opening statements.
A medical examiner testified first. He said a toxicology report revealed Wilkes had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05 in her system, along with a "toxic" amount of methadone.
The examiner did stipulate that as the body was decomposing at the time of the autopsy, that can affect alcohol levels.
The examiner says Wilkes' hands were severed about halfway up the forearm, with both bones severed as well. He said Wilkes' head and hands were never recovered. She was naked from the waist up.
Then, a former Chattanooga Police officer who was among those first on the scene testified. He says he found Wilkes' bra on the side of the road, and marked it for investigators.
He said a duck hunter was the first to see Wilkes' body, and thought it was a Halloween prop of some kind. But quickly realizing that wasn't the case, he pulled his boat close to the body and called police.
This is a developing story. Depend on us to bring you updates as we get them.