3 charged in triple murder of friends on Florida fishing trip

Southeast

TJ Wiggins, Mary Whittemore and Robert Wiggins. Photo courtesy Polk County Sheriff’s Office

CHICAGO (News Nation/WFLA) — Three suspects faced a judge Thursday in connection with a triple murder in Frostproof, Florida over the weekend.

After a three-day manhunt, deputies arrested two brothers and a woman in connection to the killing of three close friends Friday night.

Tony “TJ” Wiggins, 26, the accused killer, according to Sheriff Grady Judd, was charged with three counts of murder.

TJ’s girlfriend, Mary Whittemore, 27, and brother, Robert Wiggins, 21, were arrested and charged with being accessories to the murders.

The sheriff’s office said the victims, Brandon Rollins, 27, Keven Springfield, 30, and Damion Tillman, 23, planned a nighttime catfishing trip near Lake Streety Friday evening, and that a chance encounter between one of the victims and the suspects at a nearby Dollar General store led to their brutal murder.

According to Sheriff Grady Judd, TJ Wiggins heard Tillman tell the clerk he was going fishing with Keven Springfield.

“What? Keven’s gonna be there?” TJ replied, according to witnesses.

Security footage showed Tillman and Wiggins having a conversation in the store before Tillman walked out.

The Wiggins brothers and Whittemore left the store after Tillman and got in their car. Robert Wiggins, whom Judd said has been most cooperative with police, told detectives his brother told him to “go to the lake.”

Once they got near the lake, the Wiggins brothers and Whittemore pulled up behind two trucks and TJ Wiggins got out of the vehicle and ran up to their trucks.

Arrest affidavits show, Robert Wiggins admitted to detectives that he was present when all three victims were shot.

“Where is Keven?” he told detectives his brother demanded.

Springfield was in the truck with Rollins. TJ Wiggins allegedly pointed a gun at Springfield and demanded money.

“Where’s my truck? You stole the engine out of my truck!” he said, according to the sheriff’s office.

Judd said TJ Wiggins shot Brandon Rollins and Keven Springfield nine to ten times with his handgun, before turning to Tillman and shooting him several times.

“[Robert Wiggins] stated after the first shot, he got out of the white pick-up he was driving, and ran towards [TJ Wiggins] to try to stop him, though the shooting was done before he could get to [TJ Wiggins],” the affidavit reads.

According to the affidavit, autopsies showed each victim sustained multiple gunshot wounds.

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