tipster pleads guilty to 2015 weapons misconduct charge shortly after call to CCSO about shooter’s location
24-year old Bigelow acquaintance questioned, released
MESCAL – While investigators sort out “differing stories” from key witnesses about the November murder of Mark Bigelow, the lead homicide detective confirms that calls have been received by the 88-CRIME tip line after a $2,500 reward was recently announced. Those tips, according to detective Chris Hogan, have generated additional “investigative leads” for the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.
Bigelow, age 55, was found shot in the head around 5:30pm on November 6 outside his rural Mescal home, located on the Pima side of the county line. He was airlifted to Banner UMC in Tucson where he died ten days later. The Pima County medical examiner ruled Bigelow’s death a homicide and detective Hogan says investigators believe Bigelow knew his killer – or killers.
Records obtained this week from the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office indicate that two days after the shooting, Michael Lee Osborn of Mescal called 9-1-1 and stated “the person that shot Mark Bigelow” was inside a workshop on the 200 block of North Dorothy Avenue. According to the report, Osborn claimed the man confessed to being the shooter and “threatened to kill” Osborn if he told anyone.
Cochise deputies responded and made contact with a young man in the workshop who they arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia. The young man was transported to the Cochise sheriff’s office in Benson and held until detectives from Pima County arrived to interview him about the Bigelow shooting. The young man was later driven home by a Cochise deputy. He is not identified in this news account because authorities have not officially named any suspects.
girlfriend says man told her, “I shot Mark”
Tammy Green was also at the Dorothy Avenue location when Cochise deputies
responded to Osborn’s call. She lived with Bigelow off and on, and they had briefly dated.
Green was with the critically injured Bigelow when emergency responders arrived. She insisted during a recent interview with this reporter that she has cooperated with Pima County detectives “from the start” and “told police the truth” about her actions, and what she saw and heard, on the day Bigelow was shot.
Green, age 46, said she told investigators she was at Bigelow’s home on the afternoon of November 6 but was not present when the shooting occurred. She explained that she returned to the property where she found the gravely injured Bigelow after a man “confessed to shooting Mark.” Detective Hogan confirmed that Green gave investigators the name of the man she says claimed he shot Bigelow.
She recalled that earlier in the day the couple enjoyed lunch at the Mescal Bar and Grill with an older man who lived next door to Bigleow on South Bell Road, and a young man. After lunch the neighbor dropped off Green, Bigelow and the young man at Bigelow’s place before driving to his own home down the road. According to Green, later that afternoon Bigelow gave her a 3-wheeler ride to the neighbor’s house so she could help with some household chores. She believes the young man remained at Bigelow’s house.
With the chores finished, Green said she and the neighbor were sitting outside “having a smoke” when a man suddenly appeared, “sat down across from me” and stated “I shot Mark.” Green ran back to Bigelow’s home, she said, where she found him “facedown against a cinderblock.” She believes the reason she and the neighbor did not hear gunshots is because they “were listening to the radio.”
Green became emotional talking about the “traumatic” 30 minutes she spent with Bigelow waiting for medical help to arrive. She knew he “was in bad shape,” she says, because of the head wound. All she could do, Green explained, was “try to keep Mark calm” by rubbing his back and telling him “help is coming.”
Bigelow succumbed to his injuries on November 16. Even though there has been no arrest for the murder, Green says she continues to live in the Benson area “because I have nothing to hide.” She believes the key to “getting Mark’s killer” is finding the murder weapon and she “prays every day they find that gun so this can be over.” There may be a problem with forensics testing, however, because Green said she and others frequently handled Bigelow’s guns.
Detective Hogan previously announced that two guns – a small caliber pocket pistol and a long Colt “cowboy style” revolver – were taken from Bigelow’s property. Authorities have not confirmed whether one of those guns is believed to be the murder weapon.
Anyone with information about the missing guns or the shooting is asked to call 88-CRIME (520-882-7463). Collect calls are accepted. The $2,500 reward remains in effect.
Contact reporter Terri Jo Neff at 520-508-3660 and firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITOR’S NOTE: Days after Mark Bigelow died, Michael Osbornpleaded guiltyto misconduct with a weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia connected to a 2015 offense.
Thepre-sentence report prepared for the Courtnoted the weapons charge was a class 4 felony which normally called for a presumptive prison sentence of 2.5 years. However, Osborn’s plea agreement called for probation instead, and on January 9 judge James Conlogue sentenced Osborn, age 62, to one year of standard probation.
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