Witnesses testify during day one of alleged murderer Tony Bigoms' retrial
Witnesses testified during the first day of alleged murderer Tony Bigoms' retrial for a 2012 murder case.
The 58-year-old is accused of killing and dismembering Dana Wilkes in 2012.
The conviction was reversed by a court of appeals on technicalities related to the jury and information about an unrelated case.
The jury heard from several witnesses including one of Wilkes' sons, her coworkers and the man who found her dismembered body.
Prosecutors have their work cut out for them. They will not be able to explain Wilkes' cause of death or the motive in the case.
The defense said Bigoms is innocent and points to Wilkes' alleged drug dealing as the cause of her death.
"She never just didn't show or didn't call. Ever," Leslie Brown testified Wednesday.
Brown remembered the day Wilkes' didn't show up to the dialysis clinic where she worked nearly seven years ago.
Two weeks later, duck hunter Jeremy Pruitt found her body on a riverbank near Youngstown Road.
On the stand, Pruitt talked about how he originally thought the body was Halloween decorations.
"So we pulled over there and realized it wasn't decorations, it was a dead body," Jeremy Pruitt testified.
While securing the scene, former Chattanooga Police Officer Eric Hindmon testified about finding a bra near Wilkes' body.
"So when I found the bra, I just folded my business card up and set it beside it that way walking the area, that would stick out," Hindmon said.
Attorneys were caught off guard when one of Wilkes' coworkers testified Bigoms visited Wilkes at work the day she went missing, something attorneys said she never testified to in the past.
"I was washing my machine like this and she said 'Hey Zeddie, this is Tony. This is Tom's cousin,'" Zeddie Pryor testified.
Both sides agree that Bigoms was with Wilkes' the night she went missing but the defense said that doesn't mean he killed her.
Defense attorney Ted Engle encouraged the jury not to lose sight of the bigger picture like he said investigators did.
"Listen to what they say. Pay attention to what you hear, but also pay attention to what you don't hear," Engle said.
The trial will resume Thursday morning and is expected to last until Monday, September 16.
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