3 Walmart employees charged with manslaughter in deadly shoplifting incident

Nathan Allen Higgins, Crucelis Nunez, and Randall Eugene Tomko (Lakeland Police)

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — The Lakeland Police Department investigated a shoplifting case gone wrong, which lead to the death of a man.

The Lakeland Police Department arrest and charged three Walmart employees with the manslaughter of suspect Kenneth E. Wisham, 64, with the help of the State Attorney’s Office and Medical Examiner’s Office.

The three employees charged were:

  • Nathan Allen Higgins, 35, Support Manager at Walmart
  • Crucelis Nunez, 23, Customer Service Manager at Walmart
  • Randall Eugene Tomko, 58, Loss Prevention at Walmart

Police said, on Feb. 7, they responded to the Wal-Mart on North Road 98, because a shoplifter was in custody outside of the store. While en route to the store, LPD officers said they received a second call from dispatch that the subject in custody was not breathing and CPR was in progress.

LPD said when they arrived, the first responding officer began life-saving measures, using an Automated External Defibrillator and taking over CPR until EMS arrived. The suspect was transported to Lakeland Regional Health in critical condition.

The Medical Examiner’s Office said the suspects cause of death was Mechanical Asphyxia due to restraint. The autopsy also revealed 15 broken ribs on Wisham.

Further investigation by LPD said, Wisham entered Wal-Mart and took possession of DVDs totaling over $300.

Wisham then attempted to exit Wal-Mart with the shopping cart full of DVDs when he was confronted by employees and took flight running south.

Employees said, during the chase, Wisham kept pulling his pants up because they were falling down and eventually Wisham fell to the ground and was detained by employees. Employees said it was at this time, they discovered Wisham had stopped breathing, and they began life-saving measures and called EMS.

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