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Cobb Parolee Charged with Murder

The 48-year-old body builder with a violent history was supposed to be in Georgia when his girlfriend was beaten to death Christmas Eve.

A former Cobb County resident who was supposed to be reporting to a probation officer in Marietta has been arrested in Seattle and charged with beating his girlfriend to death.

Johnnie Lee Wiggins, 48, is charged with , Woodinville (WA) Patch reported Thursday.

He is accused of an “extraordinarily brutal” attack on , 55, outside her home Christmas Eve, Woodinville Patch said. According to the police report, Hockley’s 13-year-old daughter heard at least part of the attack and saw Wiggins walking away.

The victim was a native of New Zealand who taught English literature, and her violent death has brought an outpouring of tributes and memories on and on a Facebook memorial page.

The problem for Georgia authorities is that Wiggins shouldn’t have been within 2,600 miles of Hockley’s house.

Wiggins was released from Georgia’s Coffee Correctional Facility in January 2008 after serving nearly six years in prison for a series of crimes, including robbery and aggravated assault in Cobb County in August 1999 and aggravated assault in Douglas County in January 1999, Georgia Department of Corrections records show.

He was allowed to move to Washington state in 2008 and to serve the probation period remaining on his sentence under supervision there, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

But in May this year, the semiprofessional bodybuilder and fitness instructor attacked a probation officer, and a subsequent search of his north Seattle home found illegal steroids, Woodinville Patch reported, citing court records.

Instead of charging Wiggins with assault and drug possession, Washington state told Georgia to take him back.

In a letter obtained by Seattle’s KOMO News, Georgia Pardons and Paroles Commissioner Jenna James acknowledged that Georgia violated an interstate compact by failing to issue a warrant for Wiggins’ extradition.  

Instead, Wiggins was allowed to make his own way back to Cobb County, and James said he did check in with the parole office in Marietta by Aug. 16 as required.

Washington state authorities thought Wiggins would get supervised probation in Georgia, in part because Washington doesn’t have unsupervised probation, a Washington Department of Corrections spokesman told the AJC.

But despite his violent record in Georgia and earlier in North Carolina and the May incident in Washington, Georgia made Wiggins an “unsupervised probationer,” a Georgia Corrections Department spokeswoman told the AJC. That meant he had to tell his probation officer if he was moving or traveling out of state but otherwise didn’t have to check in regularly.

He didn’t tell his probation officer he was going to Washington, so he will face charges in Georgia—after his murder case and any resulting prison term in Washington.

Wiggins faces if he’s convicted of the Seattle murder, Woodinville Patch reported.

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