DICKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – “It’s a like a dog you don’t let it suffer,” heartless words were played from the man accused of killing a Dickson County Sergeant played in court Wednesday. Jurors also watched chilling body camera footage of Sgt. Daniel Baker’s last moments on day three in the murder trial for Steven Wiggins.
The emotions were tense inside the courtroom as the state cued up the body camera footage. Some of Baker’s family members left the room, most took deep breaths and held one to another grasping hands, shoulders and legs as the haunting body camera footage played.
Steven Wiggins was seen on the footage refusing to open the car door and then shooting at the officer multiple times before putting his body in his patrol car and setting it on fire.
The body camera footage playing before the court heard his accused killers side of the story. In a taped interview, Steven Wiggins is heard crying, saying he was scared and didn’t want the officer to die. Wiggins even went as far to say he gave Sgt. Baker CPR.
Statements followed that contradict the body camera footage. “He started screaming at the top of his lungs at me. He started screaming at me and he runs around to the passenger side and he starts coming around to the door and he grabs… he goes to grab his pistol and I…(crying) I’m sorry,” Wiggins said during the interview.
He also described those moments that he pulled the trigger at close range.
WIGGINS: “I just wanted to close my eyes and pulled the trigger. I think it might’ve been twice. It was just (sigh)…
AGENT: Why’d you do that?
WIGGINS: (crying) I don’t know. Cause from that point on I realized how bad it was. You know it’s like a dog, you don’t let it suffer, you make sure, you know? I didn’t want the man to suffer,” he said.
The defense called for a mistrial after a portion of the interview tape that was supposed to be redacted played before jurors. The judge however denied the motion and the trial continued.
Jurors watched the body camera footage intently, some holding their mouths in disbelief as that video played out. Wiggins held his head down shamefully throughout the video as Baker’s heartbroken family cried.
One of Baker’s best friends told News 2 they were prepared for today to be one of the hardest days yet.
“We understood the gravity of this situation when we were coming in and we’ve been dealing with this for three years so I think a lot of us lean on the strength that Lisa has shown, his widow.”
“She is able to focus on the task at hand which is to bring justice for Daniel and it’s hard not to get into the emotions when you have to relive these situations and we’ve relived them over and over, countless times so a lot of emotion and today will probably be one of the harder days for us,” Jonathan Bailey explained.
He said they are asking for prayers ad they hope to see Wiggins get the death penalty.
News 2 will continue this gavel to gavel coverage both on-air and online.