Cory Jamar Bigsby, 44, stands accused of one count each of felony murder and unlawful transportation or concealment of a dead body to avoid detection over the presumed June 2021 killing of 4-year-old Codi Bigsby, a two-page indictment reviewed by Law&Crime notes.
On the last day of January 2022, Cory Bigsby called the Hampton Police Department around 9 a.m. to report his son was missing and had last been seen some seven hours earlier. A massive, community-wide effort to locate the boy ensued, and Codi Bigsby’s disappearance became a sustained cause that galvanized the area; FBI agents even pitched in with the search – to no avail.
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The child’s body has yet to be found.
On Feb. 2, 2022, police announced the child’s father was the lone person of interest in the case. The next day,
evidence was removed from the Bigsby home, and the defendant was arrested on seven counts of felony child neglect unrelated to his son’s disappearance, according to Norfolk-based CBS affiliate WTKR.
Police allege that Cory Bigsby admittedly and often left his young children – all under 6 – alone at the family’s Buckroe Beach home for hours, saying the children were simply too burdensome to take along with him.
Those initial child neglect charges have grown substantially since being taken into custody over a year ago. He now faces 30 such counts, including child abuse and medical neglect-related charges.
The defendant’s time in custody, however, has proven to be a black eye for law enforcement in the circumstantial
On Valentine’s Day 2022, after then-defense attorney Jeff Ambrose revealed that police unconstitutionally denied Cory Bigsby a requested lawyer when holding him involuntarily for four days during the beginning of the
investigation. Then-Hampton Police Chief Mark Talbot admitted the officers’ failures in that regard – noting that during a heated argument with a detective, the defendant twice asked for a lawyer and was twice unlawfully rebuked, WTKR reported.
“We have our own obligation here. We didn’t meet it, frankly,” Talbot, who now leads the Norfolk Police Department, said. “My assessment is that his desires should have been honored; they weren’t.”
Days later, all local judges were disqualified from overseeing the case, the TV station reported.
In April 2022, Ambrose withdrew from the case, citing that “an ethical conflict has arisen that precludes further representation.” Later that month, Amina Matheny-Willard took over as lead defense counsel. She promptly filed a cease-and-desist letter asking for Talbot to retract previous public statements in the case, accusing the police of obstructing justice and tainting the potential jury pool and of making comments that put the Bigsby family’s life in danger. Days later, the city and Talbot responded, declining to retract any statements, denying the accusations, and refusing to apologize.
Cory Bigsby has been denied bond in the child neglect case at least five times. An original November 2022 court date on those charges has been scuttled several times. The defendant’s statements made when he was unconstitutionally denied a lawyer will likely still be used against him, a judge ruled. During a court appearance in March, he was found mentally unfit to stand trial – after previous mental competency evaluations showed mixed results.
Days later, he was indicted for his son’s murder. The indictment suggests the boy may have been 3 when he died.
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According to the Daily Press, a mysterious jailhouse statement by the defendant is potentially the source of both the murder charge and the defense’s own, so far successful, request for a mental competency evaluation, treatment, and concomitant trial pause. Matheny-Willard previously said prosecutors intentionally took their time providing a transcript of the comments to the defense. The state, by way of Hampton Commonwealth’s Attorney Anton Bell, says they didn’t do anything wrong because the comments were related to the murder investigation and not the extant
child neglect and abuse indictments.
Talbot is still talking up the case.
“The news isn’t a surprise to me,” he told WTKR on Friday. “I hope that today starts the healing process for the family and for those of us who found ourselves in pain for a child we never met.”
A hearing is slated for June 14 to assess the efficacy of Cory Bigsby’s mental health treatment regime at Eastern State Hospital.
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