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Frostproof fishing trip massacre suspect denied bond, others’ bond set

Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Three suspects faced a judge Thursday in connection with a triple murder in Frostproof over the weekend.

After a three-day manhunt, deputies arrested two brothers and a woman in connection to the “massacre” of three close friends in Frostproof 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 Kevin 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.

Below are the charges Tony “TJ” Wiggins, Mary Whittemore and Robert Wiggins are facing:

  • Tony “TJ Wiggins
    • Tampering with physical evidence
    • Three counts of First-degree murder – No bond
  • Mary Whittemore
    • Three counts of accessory after the fact of a capital felony – Bond set at $15,000 for each count
  • Robert Wiggins
    • Tampering with physical evidence – $1,000 bond
    • Three counts of accessory after the fact of a capital felony – Bond set at $15,000 for each count

You can watch the first appearance for all three suspects in the video players below:

This is not TJ Wiggins’ first time in jail.

“His criminal history should shock your conscience. It does mine. TJ started to be arrested when he was 12 years old,” said Sheriff Grady Judd during a press conference Wednesday.

Sheriff Judd noted that Wiggins had 230 counts on his criminal record.

According to the state’s attorney’s office, almost all of those counts were filed when Wiggins was a juvenile.

“No matter how many counts of felonies a delinquent is charged with, they cannot be sentenced to prison well into adulthood.  The large number of cases being referenced come from 2 juvenile cases,” wrote Jacob Orr, assistant state attorney, in a statement.

Wiggins’ Department of Corrections’ criminal history shows 15 convictions ranging from burglary to grand theft as an adult, with two stings in prison.

At the time of the murders, he was out on bond on an aggravated assault charge from March.

On Thursday, TJ Wiggins received no bond status. Whittemore is being held on a $45,000 bond. William “Robert” Wiggins, is being held on a $46,000 bond.

Help for victims

The Polk County Sheriff’s office says they are collecting donations for the victim’s families to help pay for funeral expenses, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office says.

“To donate by check, please send donations to Polk Sheriff’s Charities, Inc. and write “Frostproof Homicide Victims’ families” in the memo line. Our address is: 1891 Jim Keene Blvd. Winter Haven, FL 33880″

To donate by credit card, go to sheriff’s office donation site, choose “Other” and type in “Frostproof Homicide Victims’ families.”  

All donations will be distributed to the victims’ families.

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