Tony “TJ” Wiggins charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the Frostproof triple homicide of friends Brandon Rollins, Damion Tillman and Keven Springfield on July 17.
FROSTPROOF — Murder defendant Tony “TJ” Wiggins, the accused gunman in last week’s triple murder of three friends in Frostproof, will remain in the Polk County Jail without bail, a Polk County judge ruled Thursday.
Wiggins, 26, faces three counts of first-degree murder on allegations he fatally shot Brandon Rollins, 26, and his friends Keven Springfield, 30, and Damion Tillman, 23. The three men had met along Lake Streety Road about 10 p.m. on July 17 with plans to do some night fishing at the lake.
Shortly before going to the lake, Tillman stopped at a Dollar General store in Frostproof, where he had told the clerk he was meeting up with Springfield, according to Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives. Wiggins and his brother, Robert, 21, were standing in line behind Tillman and overheard his comments, and drove out to Lake Streety, reports state.
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Wiggins confronted Springfield, a mechanic, accusing him of selling an engine from a truck he owned, reports state. Wiggins then opened fire on the three men — first on Springfield and Rollins, who were in one pickup truck, then Tillman, who was in another.
“For that, this guy massacres three young men, 23, 27 and 30, on their way to fishing on a Friday night in Frostproof?” Sheriff Grady Judd said during Wednesday’s press conference announcing the three arrests in the case. “It’s gut-wrenching. This is evil in the flesh.”
PCSO detectives have charged Robert Wiggins with three counts of accessory after the fact to a capital felony and one count of tampering with physical evidence, stemming from allegations he and his brother washed the truck down Saturday, the day after the killings on the remote clay road in southern Polk County.
During Thursday’s first-appearance hearing, Polk County Judge Lori Winstead set $46,000 bail for Robert Wiggins, and ordered that he remain on pre-trial release if he is released on bail. That would restrict him to his house, with a GPS monitor, except to meet with his lawyer.
Mary Whittemore, TJ Wiggins’ girlfriend, also faces three counts of accessory after the fact to a capital felony on allegations she admitted to detectives that she was in her boyfriend’s truck when the three men were killed. Winstead set her bail at $45,000.
Suzie Schottelkotte can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 863-533-9070. Follow her on Twitter @southpolkscene.