By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Man shot in standoff with Effingham County deputies was sex offender
Gary Wigley photo

The man killed last week during a standoff with two Effingham County Sheriff’s Office deputies and one deputy from Bulloch County was a registered sex offender, and had been jailed in 2014 for attacking Effingham deputies during a routine compliance check.

Gary M. Wigley of Highway 119 North in southeast Bulloch County, was convicted in 1988 on charges of child molestation and cruelty to a child, according to sex offender registry records.

Wigley, 52, was scheduled to appear in Effingham County Superior Court Jan. 9, before Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Judge WiIliam Woodrum Jr., regarding yet another, more recent case, where he was charged with false imprisonment, obstruction, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, disorderly conduct, and simple assault, according to Woodrum’s criminal bench trail calendar.

When he did not appear, the bench warrant was issued. During a press conference Thursday afternoon, Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown said Effingham County Sheriff’s deputies asked for assistance from Bulloch County deputies in serving the warrant at Wigley’s home around 10 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23

Wigley had only been living in Bulloch County about a month, Brown said. When asked about details regarding the case from which the bench warrant originated, Brown would only say it was a felony case.

Effingham County Sheriff’s spokesman Inv. Joe Heath did not return phone calls seeking further information about the bench warrant and the case.

The night Wigley was shot, he was at a residence on Hwy. 119 in Bulloch County near the Eldora community. Effingham County Sheriff’s Sgt. Gary Provost, Effingham County Sheriff’s Deputy Nathan Singletary and Bulloch County Sheriff’s Sgt. Reynaldo Rodriguez attempted to serve the bench warrant, according to Bill Bodrey, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Region 5 Georgia Bureau of Investigation office in Statesboro. The GBI is investigating the incident at the request of the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office.

Brown said Wigley fled into an abandoned mobile home near his residence and aimed a long gun at deputies, who fired after he refused orders to drop the gun. Wigley was killed.

Brown said preliminary results of the autopsy revealed Wigley “died as a result of gunshot wounds,” but would not elaborate on how many wounds he suffered or what type of gun was involved.

The final autopsy report is pending additional testing, Bodrey said.

Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie was not immediately available for comment last week after the press conference in Statesboro.

“The GBI is continuing its independent investigation of the incident,” Bodrey said. “When the investigation is complete, it will be turned over to the Ogeechee District Attorney’s Office for any action they deem appropriate.”

Back in March 2014, when he lived on Horseshoe Road in Bloomingdale, Wigley reportedly became agitated when a deputy visited his home for a routine sex offender compliance check and violently resisted arrest, according to the Effingham Herald article published shortly after the incident.

He fled from deputies, then became combative, fighting as they took him into custody, according to the article. In that case, Wigley was charged with felony obstruction of a law enforcement officer with violence and battery.