The triple murder in Frostproof, Florida shocked the nation. However, one of the most surprising aspects was that the primary suspect, Tony “TJ” Wiggins, 26, (left) was out of jail to commit the murders. Wiggins has a record of 230 felony charges and was awaiting trial on a violent assault with a crowbar that left a man with a broken arm. That record included 15 convictions and two prison stints. Even as a criminal defense attorney, I am surprised that Wiggins was released on that earlier assault given his record and the violent element of that crime.
Wiggins is accused of killing of 23-year-old Damion Tillman, 30-year-old Keven Springfield, and 27-year-old Brandon Rollins.
There is surveillance footage showing Tillman making purchases when the suspects were in the store. The police reported:
The clerk told detectives that Damion said he was going fishing. The clerk also saw the suspects in the store at the same time, and they are also seen in the video. The clerk told detectives that the suspects heard Damion say he was going fishing, and that Keven would be with him, as the clerk listened to all of them talk to each other about it.
Robert followed the trucks to Lake Streety Road in Frostproof. Robert stayed in the truck with Whittemore, while TJ got out and confronted Keven Springfield, punching him and yelling at him, accusing Keven of stealing his truck. Brandon Rollins and Damion Tillman get out of their truck, and TJ continues to scream at all of them. Robert told detectives he watched as TJ shot all three victims. TJ then asked Robert to help him put Damion into the back of one of the trucks.
Police later arrested Wiggins’ girlfriend, Mary Whittemore, 27, and his brother Robert Wiggins, 21. They are charged with three counts of accessory to a murder and one count of tampering with evidence. Whittemore previously had no criminal record and Robert Wiggins only had a misdemeanor. They are now looking as serious time if convicted.
Whittemore allegedly bought the ammunition used in the murders for Wiggin despite his being barred from possessing weapons as a former felon. That would seem to raise the possibility of charged of being an accessory both before and after the fact. Under Florida law:
“Any person who maintains or assists the principal or an accessory before the fact, or gives the offender any other aid, knowing that the offender had committed a crime and such crime was a capital, life, first degree, or second degree felony, or had been an accessory thereto before the fact, with the intent that the offender avoids or escapes detection, arrest, trial, or punishment, is an accessory after the fact.”
The punishment for such crimes can go as high as life in prison: “If the felony offense committed is a capital felony, the offense of accessory after the fact is a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.”
This is a case begging for a plea bargain. Not only is there considerable evidence tying the three to the victims and the scene, but there is the damaging image of the three driving to McDonalds to order 10 cheeseburgers right after the murders. That is not something you want the jury to contemplate in a capital murder case. It reminds me of the Leopold and Loeb case when they went get sandwiches with the victim’s body in the car.
Wiggins has little reason to plead since the prosecutors are likely to seek the death penalty. However, the real question will be the charges against the two alleged accessories and whether prosecutors will add to these charges or seek the maximum sentencing (which seems likely).
98 thoughts on “Suspect In Florida Triple Murder Had A Record of 230 Felony Charges And Was Out On Bond For Prior Assault”
Hopefully all 3 are executed.
the Family must sue the city court system 1000% this Wiggins had 240 felonies including arrests and the Courts NEVER UNHLD THE 3 STRIKES LAW????? Why??
Shows how screwed up the courts and laws are. Half the people with felonies should NOT have them, or have them over STUPID things and gets more ONLY cause they are poor and can not afford MORE FEES, so they slap on more felonies, which is CRAZY. And then you have people like this, who are clearly criminal minds and danger to society, yet are on the streets. And this one, 230? There actually needs to be a criminal investigation on his past criminal situation to find how how he ended up on streets, and who signed for this to happen and when or which times!
know the Frostproof area very well. Small rural town around some beautiful lakes and oranges groves. That human trash TJ would have been able to conceal his location and identity to neighbors in the low end areas of the county. What a terrible thing for the families who I understand are poor, and one family who actually moved there to retire and fish.
The guy shouldn’t have been released after his most recent arrest. Given that he was, he should have been monitored electronically. The cops these days are tracking some people like they’re dogs, but this guy wasn’t getting any of the same attention? Law enforcement and the courts bear some of the responsibility, in this case.
And I agree, it’s “terrible for the families.”
230 prior felonies and he was out on bond? Someone needs to scrutinize the system that allowed this to happen.
Add Tony Wiggins to the list and then — for the love of god — fix the system that allowed this gut to be out on the street…
so….why is this case “begging” for a plea down?
I understand the point Turley is making…that cases with such overwhelming direct evidence exists and that this evidence would have the highest probability of convicting the defendant…the alleged murderer.
but isn’t that one of the root problems in our so called justice system?
in face of a slam dunk, murderers are GIVEN/PROVIDED a lessor charge and sentence for a crime that is truly horrible AND PROVABLE?
see his prior 240 crimes as exhibit one.
how many of THOSE cases did involve “plead to lessor charges”
THIS is what is broken about our justice system. We advocate, whether intentionally or not, by our own musings that this ridiculous get out of jail card type of loopholes are “just the way it is”.
I call BS on that.
it should be the exception and not the rule.
Plead deals should work like this:
you plead to the charges that are filed…murder charges…and you admit your guilt to that charge…AND you show contriticity!
then AND only then you get 2 more minutes a day in max security prison to watch tv….a week…depending on good behavior.
if a prosecutor can’t develop a case with such overwhelming evidence, they should not be bringing the case…period. show it and go home.
that’s how you do it.
you don’t remove the deserved punishment in order to capture a win. for points…because that is really what it boils down to!
Sidney Powell has written extensively about these kinds of abuses in our federal and state prosecutorial system.
I recommend EVERYONE read these books she has written…
I also encourage John Turley to consider the kind of injury to a fair and objective and faithful justice system that advocates out of the gate a plea deal as a first move….
it’s the BIG UGLY in our justice system…and it matters!
better if they make sure these guys are ALL isolated…butt raping each other is a power
pyramid and promotes a place where they get rewarded…solitary time based on each crime…thats real punishment, all offenses to the dungeon, come
out when time is up
Was the triple murder in Texas or Florida?
“Cook Report: Almost 100 Days Out, Democrats Are Favored to Take Back the Senate”
Yeah it’s in the bag, don’t even bother voting.
national lawyers guild is a far left radical organization that is funding the defense of street criminals tied in with the BLM chaos
see a long haired white ANTIFA punk bragging about them bailing him and his felonious associates out
are they engaged in a racketeer influenced corrupt organizational conspiracy to engage in riot, arson, and looting nationwide?
they’re collecting funds for the purpose it seems to me. i could be wrong of course.
and they are “flush with funds”….from where pray tell. one does not know. are they on Soros payroll too>?
when will the vaunted “intelligence community” actually put their resources to work for the people instead of against us?
when will they take this sedition down, this is all beyond courts and legitimate means of social discourse
if they do not we have to ask, are they are a party to it?
Kurtz– I was wondering the same, why don’t intelligence services know who these hoodlums are yet? Boy Scouts could follow them back to the rocks they live under but our crack intelligence folks can’t figure it out–and maybe they are a party to this.
Yep. It’s the odd example of a Communist front organization that has survived long after the patron organization ceased to be of any significance and long after other organizations under Communist influence either expelled the reds or withered away.
anarcho tyranny : the mob terrorizes the law abiding majority, and the state protects the mob from the citizens, and bleeds us dry with taxes meanwhile
a beautiful essay by a beautiful patriotic Phillipino- American lady
Bernie Sanders would let him vote.
It’s been the ACLU’s stated position for at least 30 years. There’s a reason Ed Meese called the ACLU ‘a criminal’s lobby’.
He would let them all vote, lots of times. It’s only fair.
Gee, it’s almost like incarcerated felons are not political prisoners, and having some people in jail is not a bad thing.
If someone gets arrested 230 times, it gets to the point where he will not or cannot peacefully coexist with the rest of society. It is not fair to everyone who will be future murder victims that he’s free. In the interests of society, lock him up or put him down.
3 sets of parents just had their entire lives destroyed. They get the added unbearable pain that this maniac should never have been loose on the street.
In addition, what in the actual hell is wrong with women to give a no account, 230-times-arrested trash even 5 minutes of her time? How far down the toilet was her self esteem? WHY are repeat felons able to get a date with anyone? At the very least, my entire gender firmly wanting nothing to do with them would be a crime deterrent.
How far down the toilet was her self esteem?
Why do you fancy ‘low self-esteem’ has anything to do with an attraction to bad boys? (It might conceivably have something to do with an attraction to a man who has lower status than some other man you might land, but that disposition is quite unusual among women, who over-rate their salability as a matter of course. An attraction to bad boys isn’t an excess of ‘settling’, its screwed up ideas about what’s attractive and what’s prudent).
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