Days after three good friends were shot and killed in a "massacre" at a Florida lake, two brothers and a woman have been arrested in connection with the slayings. One suspect, Tony "TJ" Wiggins, 26, has previously been charged with 230 felonies, and was first arrested when he was 12, said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
"He's pure evil in the flesh," the sheriff said at a press conference Wednesday.
His girlfriend, Mary Whittemore, 27, and his brother, William Wiggins, 21, were also arrested. The three are expected to make their first court appearances on Thursday.
Judd said Tony Wiggins beat and shot the three friends last Friday night after running into one of them, Damion Tillman, in a Dollar General store. Wiggins enlisted his girlfriend and his brother to take him to a rural lake, where he had heard Tillman and some friends were going to fish, Judd said.
The victims were identified as Damion Tillman, 23; Keven Springfield, 30; and Brandon Rollins, 27.
Tony Wiggins accused Springfield of selling the engine from his truck, Judd said, then fired nine to 10 rounds at the three men.
"I've been to a lot of murder scenes in my life, and this ranks among the worst," Judd said.
After interviewing the three suspects, investigators said their accounts were "inconsistent and contradicting," and that Tony Wiggins and Whittemore refused to cooperate with authorities.
After the killings, the three suspects went to a McDonald's and ordered 10 double cheeseburgers and two chicken sandwiches, Judd said.
They were arrested after authorities received so many calls about the slayings that extra help had to be hired for the department's call center, Judd said.
“The predominant information we got was, ‘Look at TJ Wiggins from Frostproof,’” Sheriff Judd said. “It’s not that they had any idea that he did it. But this guy is just mean.”
Tony Wiggins is charged with first-degree murder, tampering with evidence and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. His brother and girlfriend are each charged with being accessories after the fact. There were no attorneys listed for them in court records.
Tony Wiggins, the sheriff said, at the time of his arrest, had been out on bail on charges that he broke a man’s arm with a crowbar during a fight. His arrest record contains 230 felonies, 15 convictions and two state prison terms, Judd said.