Suspects in Frostproof triple-murder appear in court

The first court appearance for three people charged in the deaths of three fishing buddies in Frostproof took place Thursday afternoon.

Tony "TJ" Wiggins, 26, accused of pulling the trigger and murdering the three victims, received a no bond status. The judge gave TJ's girlfriend,  27-year-old Mary Whittemore, a $45 bond -- $15,000 for each accessory to murder charge -- and ordered her to wear a GPS monitor upon release. She also received a subpoena for an investigative interview Friday morning.

TJ's brother, 21-year-old Robert Wiggins, also made his first appearance Thursday.

Sheriff Grady Judd announced their arrests Wednesday, saying TJ is the main suspect accused of shooting and killed three friends of a truck dispute.

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Detectives discovered one of the victims stopped at Dollar General, and that's where the suspects overheard they were going fishing in Frostproof. 

TJ and Robert are accused of following 23-year-old Damion Tillman to Lake Streety, where he met with his two friends, 30-year-old Keven Springfield, and 27-year-old Brandon Rollins.


Investigators said TJ got into a fight with Keven, accusing him of stealing his truck and selling the engine. Then, the suspect shot and killed all three friends, the sheriff said.

Brandon was able to make one phone call to his dad, saying he needed help. His fatherrushed to the scene as Brandon took his dying breaths. 

Judd said forensic evidence on a shell casing found at TJ's trailer helped crack the case after it matched with a shell casing found at the scene.

TJ has 230 felony charges in his criminal history, stemming from the time he was 12 years old. He faces three first-degree murder charges. 

The sheriff described TJ as "a thug, he's a criminal. He's pure evil in the flesh. He's wild and he's out of control." 

Robert and Mary face three counts of accessory to a murder and one count of tampering with evidence.

Judd said additional charges could come as more evidence heads to the forensic lab.

Their first appearance in court will take place at 1 p.m.