A man stood trial for allegedly murdering a sheriff’s sergeant during a traffic stop. A jury found him guilty on all charges. Steven Wiggins faced a jury in Dickson County, Tennessee as prosecutors argue he took Sgt. Daniel Scott Baker‘s life on May 30, 2018. You can watch in the player above.
Wiggins, 34, also faces a separate case in federal court for firearms and carjacking charges. According to a criminal complaint, Baker pulled over a suspicious vehicle driven by Wiggins. Erika Castro-Miles, who Wiggins would describe as his wife but was actually his girlfriend, was in the passenger seat, authorities said.
The vehicle was parked in the roadway and in the wrong lane for the vehicle’s direction of travel, federal investigators said. Wiggins allegedly asserted the vehicle, a Saturn, had a flat tire and someone was on the way. Baker asked for ID. Wiggins allegedly did not give it, instead, he provided a social security number that did not belong to him. The sergeant apparently did not learn this at the time, but he did radio in the license plate and learn the vehicle was reported as stolen.
In fact, it was reported stolen by Castro-Miles the day before. It was alleged that Wiggins had slapped her, he pulled out her hair, he threatened to kill her if she called officers, and he then took the vehicle, according to a police report obtained by News Channel 5.
But Castro-Miles ended up in that car on that May 30 and was there when Wiggins allegedly shot Baker, authorities said. From documents:
Sgt. Baker radioed in the license plate of the vehicle to other law enforcement personnel and was told that the Saturn had been reported stolen. At that point, Sgt. Baker ordered WIGGINS and Castro-Miles out of the vehicle. WIGGINS then claimed that his door (the front driver side door) would not open and that he could not exit the vehicle. After some additional discussion, Sgt. Baker then told WIGGINS to exit out the front passenger side door. Sgt. Baker walked around the rear of the vehicle towards the front passenger side door, at which point WIGGINS opened fire with a .45 caliber pistol. Based on the body camera footage, WIGGINS initially fired approximately five shots, at least one of which struck Sgt. Baker as he attempted to get away from WIGGINS and get to cover.
Wiggin continued to shoot after Baker tried to get cover, firing five more times as the sergeant was on the ground, investigators said. Baker sustained two shots to the torso, one to his hand, and three to the left side of his head, investigators said.
“The final three shots, based on the body camera footage, appeared to have been fired by WIGGINS at Sgt. Baker at close range and while Sgt. Baker was lying wounded on the ground,” stated the federal criminal complaint.
Wiggins tried and failed to completely burn up the body, driving the sergeant’s police vehicle about three to four miles away and setting it on fire, authorities said. Though the right side of Daniel’s uniform and skin under that uniform were charred, investigators managed to recover the body cam footage cited in court documents, according to investigators.
Authorities are also charging Castro-Miles in a case for first-degree murder. Attorney Eric Yow said she is a domestic violence survivor, and a horrified bystander who saw Baker murdered. She is not a killer.
“She is a domestic abuse victim,” he said in a 2018 hearing, according to WZTV. “I think I’m free to tell you this is not the first time that she’s been abused. You’ve got her held at gunpoint in a hotel room. There’s nothing that she did that was a crime. Nevertheless, the state is continually prosecuting this as if she did something wrong.”
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