Police say homicide witness changes story

Gary Gill

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer

Investigators say a woman who reported finding the body of Clovis’ latest homicide victim staged the discovery hours later and was actually in the apartment when he was shot.

Sometime around midnight Monday or early Tuesday, Jeraldine McCoy told police she heard a gunshot in a back bedroom of her apartment at 1408 W. 10th St.

McCoy told police Lonzell Wiggins Jr. then ran past her and left the apartment holding a silver revolver, according to an arrest affidavit filed Tuesday in Curry County Magistrate Court.

Wiggins, 37, was charged Tuesday with an open count of murder, tampering with evidence and felon in possession of a firearm in connection with the death of Gary Gill, 48.

Wiggins is being held without bond in the Curry County Adult Detention Center.

Gill’s death was the second homicide in Clovis this year.

According to the affidavit:

McCoy told police she discovered the body just before 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.

McCoy said she had spent the night elsewhere because she didn’t feel well.

She and a friend arrived at her home Tuesday morning and found the front door unlocked. McCoy said Gill’s body was lying in a southwest bedroom of the house with a single gunshot wound to the head.

When interviewed later in the day, records show she changed her story.

During the second interview, McCoy said she had allowed Gill to stay at her home because he was having trouble with his girlfriend.

McCoy told police she was lying on the couch Monday night because she felt ill and Wiggins came to the apartment and went back in the bedroom with Gill.

A short time later she said she heard a gunshot and Wiggins ran out of the bedroom wiping a silver revolver with his shirt, records show.

Police responded to a call of shots fired at the apartment building about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday but found no evidence of a shooting.

About 9 a.m., police responded to McCoy’s call, finding Gill’s lifeless body on the floor of the bedroom with an entrance wound at his right eye. A shell casing was found in the alleyway east of the residence, the affidavit said.

McCoy hasn’t been charged with any offense.

A Gill family member told police he and Wiggins had ongoing problems between one another.

Police said Tuesday they have had previous incidents with all the parties involved in the shooting.

Wiggins was convicted in the 2002 shooting of another Clovis man and in 2003 was sentenced to three years in prison.

He was discharged from probation in that case in August.

Police have said they expect peripheral charges as a result of the shooting and are continuing their investigation.