3 Arrested in Triple Murder of Fishing Friends as New Details Revealed

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in New York. He covers breaking news.
July 22, 2020Updated: July 23, 2020

Two men and a woman were arrested in connection with the murders of three fishermen in Florida last week, according to the sheriff.

“We have locked up the three people responsible for the murders of these guys,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a televised news conference.

Tony “TJ” Wiggins, 26, who reportedly has 230 felony criminal charges in his arrest history, is allegedly behind the massacre. Mary Whitmore, 27, and his brother Robert Wiggins, 21, were also arrested, Judd said, as reported by Fox News.

“He’s a thug, he’s a criminal,” Judd said of Wiggins, who was charged with three counts of first-degree murder, while Whitmore and his younger brother were charged with three counts of accessory and one count of tampering.

The three victims were identified last week as Damion Tillman, 23, Kevin Springfield, 30, and Brandon Rollins, 27.

Judd said in the news conference that local people called on the sheriff’s office to investigate T.J. Wiggins.

Police investigate a triple homicide
Police investigate a triple homicide near Lake Streety, Fla., on July 18, 2020. (Courtesy of Polk County Sheriff’s Office)
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd speaks in a news conference about a triple homicide near Lake Streety, Fla., on July 18, 2020. (Courtesy of Polk County Sheriff’s Office)

“Look at T.J. Wiggins from Frostproof,” Judd said, quoting what some callers told his office, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “Not because they had any idea he did it, just because he’s mean.”

Judd said that Wiggins was first arrested at the age of 12 and has 15 convictions.

“He’s wild and he’s out of control,” Judd said.

Citing video footage, the sheriff said that Wiggins and the suspects ran into one another earlier in the day at a Dollar General store. The sheriff said that Wiggins shouted at the three, “You stole the engine out of my truck.”

“This is a guy who can hurt you because it’s the right thing for him to do in that moment in time with his three brain cells,” Judd said.

A motive in the slayings was not immediately provided.

“We still don’t know why the murder occurred,” Judd said Monday, who noted that there were no signs of “a dope deal gone bad,” theft or domestic violence.

Judd said Damion Rollins, one of the victims, called his father and asked for help. The father, Cyril Rollins, rushed to the area to find his son barely alive and his two friends dead.

“He doesn’t ever call my phone, at all,” Cyril said, reported Fox13. “Unless he is having trouble.”

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