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Wigley begins pointing fingers

Robert Wigley cleans up his desk in the courtroom following yesterday's segment of his murder trial. Wigley, who chose to represent himself in the high-profile case, has decided to try to enlist an attorney for his defense. (Eric Caldwell).
Robert Wigley cleans up his desk in the courtroom following yesterday's segment of his murder trial. Wigley, who chose to represent himself in the high-profile case, has decided to try to enlist an attorney for his defense. (Eric Caldwell).

By Kent Gray

Triplicate staff writer

Robert Allen Wigley gave the first hint of his defense yesterday during the second day of his murder trial.

While cross-examining prosecution witnesses, Wigley attempted to implicate his ex-wife in the killing of teen-ager Camillia Randall. He also attempted to raise the possibility that a bear or another animal had ravaged Randall's corpse.

Wigley, 37, is on trial in Del Norte County Superior Court, charged with first-degree murder in the death of Randall.

The 18-year-old from Longview, Wash., was hitchhiking through Crescent City on her way from Ashland, Ore., to Guerneville, Calif., when she was murdered on Oct. 26, 1994. Randall's body was found four days later in a ditch off Howland Hill Road.

Wigley was arrested in 2001 after DNA recovered from Randall's body was matched him.

Most of yesterday was spent on testimony from pathologists Boyd Stephens and Ken Falconer. Stephens is the chief medical examiner of the city and county of San Francisco. Falconer conducts autopsies for several Northern California counties.

While questioning Stephens, Wigley attempted to raise the possibility that someone else had killed Randall.

Wigley suggested during the trial that his ex-wife beat Randall with a flashlight and strangled her, and that his involvement was little more than consensual sex with the victim.

The autopsy conducted on Randall was performed by Falconer on Oct. 31, 1994. Falconer and Stephens both testified they conferred with one another on the analysis of Randall's death and the injuries to her body.

"It was obvious she was murdered," Falconer said. "There was a very obvious ligature mark around her neck."

Wigley suggested the mark on the victim's throat was caused by a rope and that it occurred after her death.

Falconer said he did not believe that was the case, saying something similar to a belt was used to strangle the victim.

Spectators averted their eyes as gruesome autopsy photos were displayed during testimony. The photos showed graphic evidence of what forensic experts described as a severe beating and stabbing of the victim before she died.

District Attorney Mike Riese asked the pathologists if most of the head wounds to Randall occurred before she died. Both said yes.

Wigley tried to introduce an FBI report he received from Quantico, Va., that he said proved Randall's body was ravaged by a bear or another animal.

Although the report was not admitted as evidence, both witnesses said they saw no sign of animal activity on the body.

All of the flesh was removed from Randall's left arm by "incision," Stephens said. And a hole in her ribs, where her left lung and heart were removed, was caused by a human — not an animal, Falconer and Stephens said.

Falconer is scheduled to return to the stand today at 9 a.m.

 


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