Two brothers and a woman have been arrested in connection with the “massacre” of three best friends who were enjoying a fishing trip together.
Damion Tillman, 23, Keven Springfield, 30, and Brandon Rollins, 27, were shot and beaten to death as they gathered at a remote boat ramp near Frostproof in Florida last Friday night.
Police described the crime scene as ‘horrific’ during a press conference after Tony Wiggins, 26, his brother William Robert Wiggins, 21, and girlfriend Mary Whittemore, 27, were arrested over the incident.
‘The worst murder scene’
“I’ve been to a lot of murder scenes in my life, and this ranks among the worst,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.
The older Wiggins has previously been charged with 230 felonies, and had been consistently arrested since he was 12, he said.
“This is evil incarnate,” the sheriff said of Wiggins.
“His criminal history should shock your conscience. It shocks mine. He was first arrested at 12, and has had 230 felony criminal charges in his arrest history... he’s a thug. He’s a criminal. He is pure evil in the flesh.”
Sheriff Judd said Wiggins has 15 convictions and two prison stints and was out on bond at the time for allegedly breaking another man’s arm with a crowbar.
His girlfriend, Whittemore, has no criminal history, while his brother has been arrested for one misdemeanour.
Accused murderers ‘ate McDonald’s after massacre’
According to the sheriff, prior to his death, Tillman visited a Dollar General store in the area and mentioned he was meeting friends to go fishing for catfish at the lake.
The store clerk later claimed the suspects were also in the store and overheard Tillman relaying his plans.
Sheriff Judd alleges Wiggins ordered his brother to drive to the lake. Once there, Wiggins confronted Springfield, accusing him of stealing his truck and selling the engine, police claim.
Investigators have not yet determined whether that allegation is true.
The brother told detectives Wiggins shot all three victims, then asked him to help put Tillman in the back of a truck, Sheriff Judd said.
The sheriff said the trio then went to a McDonald’s and ordered 10 double cheeseburgers and two chicken sandwiches.
Rollins was still alive when the alleged attackers left and called his father for help.
He arrived about 10 minutes later but forgot his cellphone in a rush to help his son, so he went to a convenience store to get help.
By the time help arrived, his son had died.
During a search warrant at the suspects’ homes, investigators found a gun that killed the victims, Sheriff Judd said.
Wiggins is charged with first-degree murder, tampering with evidence and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. His bother and girlfriend are each charged with accessory after the fact.
Dad details fateful last call from son
Rollins’ devastated father Cyril Rollins told local outlet News Channel 8 of the moment he received his dying son’s last phone call.
“We heard some background and they fussing all that,” he said while breaking down in tears.
“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.”
Rollins’ girlfriend Jessica Steenson said she had moved to the area for her boyfriend.
“I moved here from Jacksonville, Florida, for him two years ago and this is not how it was supposed to be and I want justice for him. And I will not stop until he gets it,” she said.
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