By Kent Gray
Triplicate staff writer
Murder defendant Robert Allen Wigley yesterday won his battle to have a detective's videotaped interview of Wigley played for the jury today.
Judge Robert Weir warned Wigley, who is acting as his own attorney, that the 40-minute tape is more likely to hurt the defendant than help him.
However, Wigley said the tape will show he asked for, but did not receive, an attorney during the interview. The Nov. 20, 2001, interview was conducted by Detective Gene McManus of the Del Norte County Sheriff's Department.
Wigley is on trial in Del Norte County Superior Court for first-degree murder in the death of 18-year-old Camillia Randall, who was killed in Crescent City in 1994. The defendant was arrested in November of 2001 after his DNA was matched to evidence found with Randall's body.
District Attorney Mike Riese, who argued yesterday against the tape being shown, agreed the defendant mentioned having an attorney present, but said Wigley's statement about an attorney was ambiguous.
Riese also told Weir the prosecution has not offered any evidence from the interview during the trial. Some evidence from the interview was presented to the jury when Wigley questioned McManus on the witness stand.
Wigley also said he wanted the jury to see his shocked reaction during the interview when he was shown a photograph of the victim's remains.
During testimony yesterday, the defendant's ex-wife, Marie Biggers, made her second and final appearance on the witness stand.
After Weir began limiting how many times the defendant could ask the same questions of Biggers, Wigley finally excused her from the stand.
The judge ruled that Biggers would not have to return as a witness.
The defendant claims it was Biggers who killed Randall, after he and the teen-age victim had what he said was consensual sex at the Super 8 Motel in Crescent City. Wigley and Biggers co-managed the motel at the time of Randall's death.
The defendant said prior to Biggers testifying that he would prove to the jury she was lying, or at least hiding something.
Wigley made apparent attempts to trap his ex-wife into contradicting her earlier statements when he asked questions that misstated her testimony.
"How long is somebody going to allow him to twist my words around?" Biggers asked in frustration at one point after several hours on the stand. The defendant responded: "You're twisting your words around."
Biggers laughed at another time when Wigley asked, "Do you feel your alibi dwindling away?"
According to hospital records and testimony from family members, Biggers was ill and bedridden at her parents' home at the time of Randall's murder.
Wigley did point out some inconsistencies in Biggers' testimony from earlier statements she made to McManus during interviews in 2001 and 2002.
"I wouldn't say that anything I said to Detective McManus was inaccurate. It was accurate as to how I remembered it at the time. This was nine years ago," she said.