Bodybuilder Charged With Killing Teacher

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee December 29, 2011

A 43-year-old bodybuilder is facing murder charges for fatally beating his girlfriend outside of her Greenwood home on Christmas Eve in an apparent fit of jealousy.

Charging documents say Johnnie Lee Wiggins, a violent felon, arrived at Prudence Hockley's home late on December 24, where Hockley was spending Christmas Eve with her daughter and another man, who she'd dated on-and-off for the last seven years. When Wiggins knocked on the door to Hockley's home, Hockley told the other man in the house to exit out the back door. Hockley then walked out of the front of the house to talk to Wiggins, court records say.

Moments later, witnesses heard a loud thump, and Hockley's daughter found her mother lying unconscious in the driveway of their home.

Her mother was lying on the ground bleeding from her head, and the daughter confronted Wiggins. He blamed the attack on the other man who'd been in Hockley's home, court records say.

Charging documents say following the attack, Hockley had bruises and cuts on her face and neck, was bleeding from her head, and was "barely breathing." Medics arrived and rushed Hockley to Harborivew, where doctors put her on life support. She died the next day, on Christmas.

Court documents say Hockley's and Wiggins met over the summer at the north Seattle gym where Wiggins worked. Hockley's Co-workers and family described couple's relationship as "tempestuous," and court records also indicate this might not have been the first time the 6'3, 260 pound Wiggins had attacked the diminutive Hockley. Several co-workers told police Wiggins may have given Hockley a black eye during an incident on December 23, which was not reported to police.

Hockley's oldest daughter also told police her mother had previously said Wiggins—who police caught with significant amounts of steroids in his home in May—suffered from "roid rage, and said he was "controlling, jealous and short-tempered."

When Detectives reached Wiggins by phone on Christmas, he denied attacking Hockley and said he had gone to her home to "deliver a gift" and didn't mean "for anyone to get hurt." However, he said, when saw a man leaving out the back door, things "went bad."  Wiggins also made references to Hockley "ho-ing around with other men," court records say.

Wiggins agreed to meet with detectives on December 27 at SPD headquarters, but declined to talk. Police then booked him into the King County Jail.

Wiggins has had numerous brushes with the law over the last two decades. Court records say Wiggins has a history of attacks on women in North Carolina and Georgia between 1987 and 1989. After Wiggins was released from prison in Georgia in 2008, he moved to Washington under an interstate agreement, which allows offenders to relocate and serve out probation.

While living in Washington, Department of Corrections officers regularly checked on Wiggins, who Washington DOC flagged as a “high-violent offender,” with prior convictions for theft, assault, and exposing himself in public. Law enforcement records describe Wiggins as a “high energy and a smooth operator,” who had problems with drugs and issues and “sexual deviancy.”

In May 2011, Wiggins attacked a Washington Department of Corrections officer, sparking a battle between Washington DOC officials and authorities in Georgia, who failed to extradite Wiggins for violating the terms of his probation.  In August, Wiggins voluntarily returned to Georgia, where the state Department of Corrections put him on unsupervised probation. He moved back to Seattle some time later.

Authorities in Georgia apparently failed to notice that Wiggins had gone missing in his home state and moved back to Seattle

The Georgia DOC says Wiggins was in violation of his unsupervised probation and was not supposed to be in Washington, but declined to discuss details of Wiggins' case, citing confidentiality rules.

Wiggins is being held at the King County Jail on $5 million bail

Because Wiggins allegedly attacked Hockley in the presence of her teenage daughter, prosecutors say they could ask for an exceptional sentence in the case, higher than the standard 20 years for homicide.
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