By Kent Gray
Triplicate staff writer
The former wife of murder suspect Robert Allen Wigley testified yesterday that she never met the teenager he is accused of killing.
Marie Biggers was married to Wigley in October of 1994 when 18-year-old Camillia Randall was murdered in Crescent City. Randall was hitchhiking through Crescent City, on her way from Ashland, Ore., to Guerneville, Calif., when she was killed.
Wigley maintains it was Biggers who murdered Randall late on Oct. 26 or in the early morning hours of Oct. 27, 1994, at the Super 8 Motel, which the couple managed. The victim's body was dumped along Howland Hill Road, in Stout Grove, and was found on Oct. 30.
Wigley's trial in Del Norte Superior Court entered its fourth week yesterday. He is charged with first-degree murder, with special allegations of rape and torture added to the murder charge.
The defendant, who has been linked to Randall through a DNA match of semen found on the victim's body, claims his former wife killed the teenager after she refused to engage in threesome sex.
Biggers testified she was extremely ill and not present at the motel when the murder occurred.
"I was having severe abdominal pains where I couldn't stand up. I couldn't walk," Biggers testified about her medical condition at the time.
When District Attorney Mike Riese showed Biggers admission papers from Sutter Coast Hospital, she verified them. The documents show the witness checked into the hospital emergency room on Oct. 25 and had a sonogram performed on Oct. 28.
Between those two dates, Biggers said, she was primarily at the home of her parents and was not present at the motel.
"My dad stopped by (the motel) and found I had been sleeping on the couch," Marie said about the morning of Oct. 26. "He told my mom and she was worried, and she wanted me to come home," Biggers testified.
Biggers said she only returned to the motel briefly on the morning of Oct. 27, at the request of Wigley, to help straighten out the business' books.
"He had called me to come down and work on the books, because he had messed them up," Biggers said. "It was early ... it was very early in the morning."
Biggers said she noticed the manager's apartment was immaculately clean when she arrived.
"That surprised me because I was the one that normally did the housework," she said. "I thought it was unusual he'd taken the time to clean the house instead of working on the books."
When she returned to the motel a couple days later, Biggers said, she saw the defendant burning some of his clothes in a burn barrel in the back of the building.
"The reason it stuck out in my mind is because part of that was a pair of brand new tennis shoes he just bought," she said. "He spent a lot of money on them ... he just said they didn't fit."
When Riese asked Biggers if she had ever met, seen or knew about Randall, she answered "no" to each question.
According to a scenario built by the prosecution, Wigley met Randall at some point after 9:15 p.m. on Oct. 26. Riese suggested that after this meeting, Wigley possibly stalked the victim, then raped, tortured and strangled her. Because of the amount of dirt found on Randall's body, Riese said, the assault and murder likely occurred outdoors, somewhere near the motel.
Wigley claims Randall stopped by the Super 8 and used the restroom between 9:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The defendant claims he had consensual sex with the teenager and that his then-wife wanted to engage in threesome sex with Randall, but the teenager refused. The defendant said Biggers then attacked Randall in the bathroom with a flashlight.
On the stand yesterday, Biggers spoke softly and could barely be heard at times and she recounted her three-year marriage to the defendant.
"I was very abused in our marriage," Biggers said. "He hit me, strangled me and sexually assaulted me quite often."
Biggers testified the suspect enjoyed inflicting pain during sex, and that he would become more excited when she protested about being hurt.
"He'd punch me in the ribs, repeatedly," she said. "My ribs were sore most of the time I was married to him.
"One time I thought I was going to die. He would cut off the air until I would lose consciousness, then he would let off a little bit. But he would start up again," Biggers testified.
Riese spent much of the afternoon yesterday exploring accounts of the three-way sexual encounters both Wigley and Biggers have acknowledged having. The defendant claims his former wife was a willing participant and sometimes initiated the encounters. Biggers testified they were all designed by the defendant.
"He beat the holy hell out of me over it," Biggers said about the first group-sex encounter. "He beat me and badgered me for weeks ... he said it was a fantasy of his."
In other testimony, Biggers said she and Wigley went to Stout Grove where Randall's body had been found in 1994 to have sex in the spring of 1995. Biggers said Wigley pointed to a hole under a tree stump and said it would be a good place to hide a body.
She also testified that Wigley bragged that he could commit a better crime than the ones described in the true-crime magazines and novels he liked to read.
At one point, the defendant threw back his head and sighed loudly when Riese asked Biggers about a specific comment Wigley made about body parts.
"He was reading a book or something," Biggers said. "And it said that you can gain somebody's power by eating their heart."
Randall's body was found with a hole in her chest and her heart and left lung missing.
The defendant claims the body was probably mutilated by a bear.
Wigley began his cross-examination of Biggers late in the afternoon yesterday. His cross-examination should continue through most of the day today.