DICKSON, Tenn. (WKRN) — It is one step closer to closure for the family of a Dickson County sergeant brutally murdered in 2018. On Wednesday, the trial began for the second defendant in the murder of Sgt. Daniel Baker.
Erika Castro-Miles faces premeditated first-degree murder. She was in the car with Steven Wiggins the day he killed Baker.
Never before seen surveillance and body camera footage, along with the initial 911 call that set the horrific turn of events in motion were played in court — all key evidence shown to the jurors on day one of the trial.
Much of the evidence centered around the Midtown Inn Suites in Kingston Springs, where Wiggins and Castro-Miles were staying.
Castro-Miles said Wiggins who had a gun, accused her of having a wire, stripped her down and tried to suffocate her with a pillow before she was able to run away naked to the motel help desk, where police were called. Castro-Miles told police about Wiggins’ abusive behavior when they responded.
“Then all of a sudden he started freaking out and stripped me down to search me and put me in the corner, put me on the floor tried to smother me with a pillow. He finally walked away and I saw a chance to run, I didn’t have any clothes on I just ran out.”
Her attorney pointed out how one of the responding officers treated her with disrespect, focusing on Castro-Miles being an abuse victim.
Surveillance footage from inside Walmart, the motel and at a gas station was played for the court to show Castro-Miles was left alone and had the opportunity to get away. Her attorney, on the other hand, said it is typical behavior for a victim to return to their abuser.
Castro-Miles kept her head down while most of the evidence was played.
On Wednesday, Castro-Miles appeared emotional almost as soon as she was brought into the courtroom, crying before jurors were even brought in.
Sgt Daniel Baker’s family, including his widow Lisa were back in the courtroom reliving the nightmare all over again. Lisa Baker previously told News 2 that Castro-Miles is just as guilty saying, “In my opinion, it was her actions that set everything in motion.”
Wiggins was sentenced to death on state charges for the murder and life on other federal charges.