A Florida man charged with shooting dead his three best friends had 230 prior felonies on his rap sheet, including several assault and battery, armed burglary, and weapons charges, 15 convictions and had served two state prison sentences before Friday night’s ‘massacre’.
Tony ‘TJ’ Wiggins, 26, was first arrested when he was just 12 years old and on Wednesday he added first degree murder, tampering with evidence, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon to his rap sheet.
Police claim he shot Damion Tillman, 23; Keven Springfield, 30; and Brandon Rollins, 27, in Frostproof, then headed straight to McDonald’s with his girlfriend Mary Whittemore, 27, and brother Robert Wiggins, 21, to order 10 cheeseburgers and two McChicken sandwiches.
The following day Robert took his truck to be cleaned.
Tony ‘TJ’ Wiggins, 26, left, his girlfriend Mary Whittemore, 27, center, and his brother Robert Wiggins, 21, right, have each been charged over the deaths of Damion Tillman, 23; Keven Springfield, 30; and Brandon Rollins, 27, in Frostproof on Friday
The group ordered 10 cheeseburgers and two McChicken sandwiches from a local McDonald’s after the slayings on Friday, according to police
‘He’s a thug. He’s a criminal. He’s pure evil in the flesh,’ Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. ‘He’s wild and he’s out of control.’
Police described TJ as ‘mean’, ‘wild’ and ‘violent’ and someone who ‘would go up and punch people for no reason’.
In a detailed account of what police believed happened, all three suspects are said to have followed their victims after overhearing their fishing plans from Tillman in a local Dollar General store Friday. TJ had wanted to confront Springfield over ‘some kind of truck deal’ Sheriff Judd said.
Robert Wiggins told detectives he watched as TJ shot all three victims, police said. Robert Wiggins is charged with three counts of accessory to murder and tampering with evidence.
Whittemore is charged with three counts of accessory to murder.
Records show that victims Keven Springfield and Brandon Rollins had prior arrests; Brandon for burglary and traffic violations, Springfield for theft, burglary and domestic battery.
Each of the victims were shot a number of times, police said, after TJ asked Keven: ‘Where’s my truck? You sold the engine out of my truck.’ Springfield is said to have replied: ‘I don’t know what you are talking about.’
All three arrested in connection with the deaths were found ‘living off the grid’ in two travel trailers on Monday, Sheriff Judd announced. Police say they found two SKS rifles, two Mossberg shotguns, and ammunition for both in a gun safe belonging to TJ Wiggins in one of the trailers.
‘He’s a thug. He’s a criminal. He’s pure evil in the flesh,’ Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said about TJ, who was first arrested at 12 years old and had 15 felony convictions on his record. ‘He’s wild and he’s out of control.’ TJ also went to prison twice
In a detailed account of what police believed happened Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said all three suspects are said to have followed their victims to Lake Streety in Frostproof, Florida, on Friday night, pictured
The men were found by Cyril Rollins, the father of Brandon. Cyril is pictured left on Saturday
Police said in a statement Wednesday: ‘During a search of the crime scene, detectives found a Dollar General bag and receipt dated the night of the murders, and worked their way backwards from there.
‘They responded to the Dollar General store, and retrieved store video surveillance that showed one of the victims – Damion Tillman – making some purchases.
‘Detectives spoke with the clerk, who knows Damion as a frequent customer. 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.’
They added: ‘The search warrant at the trailer also yielded ammunition that was compared to the shell casings found at the scene of the triple homicide. The ammunition was sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) lab for testing.
‘The FDLE expedited the testing. The test results came back positive – the ammunition found in the trailer is the same ammunition fired from the gun that night, a Smith & Wesson handgun.’
In a detailed account of what police believed happened, all three suspects are said to have followed their victims after overhearing their fishing plans from Tillman in a local Dollar General store Friday
Tj Wiggins and Mary Whittemore pictured. The couple have been arrested in connection to the triple killing
Robert Wiggins has been charged with three counts of accessory to murder and and tampering with evidence; Whittemore three counts of accessory to murder
The three murdered friends were found by Cyril Rollins, the father of Brandon, who managed to call for help just before he died. Sheriff Judd said the shock of finding his son dying alongside his two friends sent Cyril to hospital later in the day.
Tillman had traveled alone to the spot, police said. His car was found facing south; the vehicle carrying Rollins and Springfield was next to it, facing north ‘right in the middle of the road’ suggesting they were parked ‘so they could talk to each other’.
Sheriff Judd said in an earlier interview: ‘[Rollins’ dad] is not doing well at all. In fact, later in the day he had to go to the hospital as well. You can imagine the horrible shock to hear your son on the cellphone say ‘help’. You rush to his side, you see his two best buddies shot dead and he is shot and really taking his last breaths.’
Tillman had traveled alone to the spot, police said. His car was found facing south; the vehicle carrying Rollins and Springfield was next to it, facing north ‘right in the middle of the road’ suggesting they were parked ‘so they could talk to each other’
Police had earlier said the three men may have been the victims of a targeted attack by multiple attackers.
Judd admitted Monday afternoon that officers at that point still did not know the motive. But he said Saturday: ‘You don’t just stumble upon somebody out here.’ He described the crime scene as ‘the worst I have ever seen’.
Rollins called his father at about 10pm Friday and managed to only say ‘help.’ The father jumped into his car and went to where his son had said he was going fishing.
‘When he arrived he found his son Brandon barely alive, and his two friends deceased,’ the sheriff’s office said in a press release Saturday. ‘Brandon was able to say a few things to his dad, which we are not releasing at this time.’
Rollins’ father had left his home without his cellphone, so he returned to a nearby gas station and called 911, the sheriff’s office said. He did not use his son’s phone to make the call, as he would ‘have had difficulty finding it at the scene’, police said Monday.
‘I was just so upset last night, I just didn’t know what to do,’ said Cyril Rollins, ‘We heard some background and they fussing all that,’ he told WFLA 8.
‘But I left, I went on out here. When I got there I was looking for my son. It was a mess. I found my son. I was holding him he was telling me what happened but I was too shocked to know what was going on.’
When authorities arrived at the scene, all three men were dead.
‘This is a horrific scene,’ said Judd, ‘I’ve been to a lot of murder scenes in my life and this ranks among the worst I’ve been to.’
Brandon Rollins managed to call his dad for help shortly before he died Friday evening
Tillman, left, traveled to Lake Streety first and arrived by himself. Sheriff Judd said Wednesday She killer went to confront Keven Springfield, right, over a truck deal