BARTOW, Fla. (WKMG/AP) -- A grand jury has formally charged a 26-year-old man with three counts of first-degree murder in the fatal shootings of three friends who had gathered at a Central Florida lake in July for some late night fishing.
Prosecutors now have 45 days to determine whether to seek the death penalty for Tony “T.J.” Wiggins Jr. in the event he's convicted of murder.
Wiggins is held without bail in the Polk County Jail, the Lakeland Ledger reports.
TRUE CRIME DAILY: Lake Streety murders case coverage - TCD
Brandon Rollins, Keven Springfield and Damion Tillman were found beaten and shot to death on the night of July 17 at Lake Streety, about 70 miles east of Tampa. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said the three men were "massacred."
William Wiggins, Mary Whittemore and Tony "T.J." Wiggins Jr. were arrested. The two men are brothers. Whittemore is Tony Wiggins's girlfriend. All three live in the area where the crime occurred.
William Wiggins told detectives that the three victims passed them on a side road after they left the Dollar General store, and that Tony Wiggins told him to follow the victims, who were in separate pickup trucks. They followed the trucks to Lake Streety Road in Frostproof.
William stayed in the truck with Whittemore, sheriff's officials said, while Tony got out and confronted Keven Springfield, punching him and yelling at him, accusing Springfield of stealing his truck. Brandon Rollins and Damion Tillman got out of their truck. William told detectives he watched as Tony shot all three victims; then the two brothers put Tillman into the back of one of the trucks.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office said the three suspects then drove to a McDonald's and ordered 10 double cheeseburgers and two McChicken sandwiches and went home to eat.