Man accused of stabbing girlfriend, witness says he threw her from car in Gates
Gates, N.Y. (WHAM) - The man wanted in connection with a woman's homicide in Gates was taken into custody at the Canadian border. Gates Police Chief James Van Brederode said, "Clearly it looked like his intent was to get out of the country."
The victim, Tracy Henton Williams, was stabbed while riding in a car and died from her wounds on the side of Buffalo Road.
At a news conference Tuesday morning, there was emotional and impromptu meeting between friends of the victim and a Good Samaritan who witnessed the incident and stayed with the victim.
"It was a nasty fall. I saw her being dragged 20 to 15 feet, then she rolled another 20 feet," said Phillip Cammilleri. "I see an arm shove her, and she goes rolling."
He said she was covered in red, bleeding profusely from stab wounds to her neck and chest. She asked him to call 911 - what may have been her final words. Investigators won't confirm how she dropped from the car, but say this was a domestic violence incident.
Police provided a description of the black Jeep Liberty that was allegedly driven by Wiggins. Within a few hours, officers were able to locate the vehicle in question. Gates Police Chief James VanBrederode said an alert clerk at the Canadian border first noticed Wiggins acting strange and nervous. He made him pull over and then learned of the alert on the vehicle. "He ran that plate number and found that it was the vehicle we were looking for," said Lt. David Sapienza of Gates Police.
Henton Williams is a mother and grandmother. She also worked at Flower City School No. 54 as a teaching assistant in special education."The children adored her and she was a dedicated and talented support to the classroom teacher. Her presence will be deeply missed by me and the rest of our school family," said Lessie Hamilton-Rose, principal for School No. 54.
Last week, she celebrated her mother's 70th birthday.
"She had a huge heart and was always laughing," said her sister, Alia Henton Williams. She said family never witnessed any violence in the relationship, but her sister had recently broken it off. "That is what was a catalyst for this situation, because she was choosing to walk away and he was not aligned with that and wouldn't put up with it," she said.
The family has experienced heartbreak before. In 1992 Ralik Henton was shot four times - caught in gang crossfire as he walked home from church with a Bible under his arm. He was 16 years old and the youngest of the five siblings. Now, they will bury the oldest.
"We could never think of having to face this or go through this again," said Alia. "We have each other, and we have beautiful memories of Tracy and Ralik."
Wiggins is charged with second degree murder and is being held without bail. He has a lengthy criminal record in Florida dating back to 1980 including arrests for drug possession, battery with a deadly weapon and stealing a car. There is no record of a felony arrest in New York State.
13WHAM News will continue to update this story as more information.