DICKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The sentencing phase of the trial for Steven Wiggins, the man found guilty in the murder of Dickson County Sergeant Daniel Baker, began Saturday morning.
On Thursday, Wiggins was found guilty on 10 charges in the death of Sgt. Baker, including first-degree premeditated murder.
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Jurors returned to the Dickson County courtroom after having a day off on Friday.
Wiggins could now face the death penalty or life in prison. He is being held in the Dickson County Jail until sentencing is over, which could last anywhere between 3-4 days.
Sgt. Baker was killed on May 30, 2018, after responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle in Dickson County. Wiggins shot and killed Sgt. Baker, then put him back in his patrol car, and set it on fire.
During the first day of sentencing, four people offered testimony, including medical examiner Dr. Feng Li, an assistant states attorney, a TBI agent, and widow Lisa Baker. Mrs. Baker spoke about the impact Sgt. Baker’s death has had on their daughter, who is now 5-years-old.
“She knows that he lives in heaven but doesn’t quite understand that he’s never coming back. That he will never be here to hold her, to kiss her, to watch her grow, to offer fatherly advice, to walk her down the aisle, to meet his grandchildren, to do any of the things that a father would, could, and/or should be here to do,” Mrs. Baker read from her victim impact statement.
Sentencing will resume at 9 a.m. Monday.
Trial Recap: Day One
Sgt. Baker’s widow Lisa was first to take the stand in Dickson County Monday, as the state opened the trial shedding light on the personal life of Baker. Pictures of him as an avid outdoorsman and others capturing that of a loving husband and father.
A home video from Christmas played before the jury of when Sgt. Baker was surprised with a Glock 357 from his wife. It was that backup weapon prosecutors say Steven Wiggins stole from Sgt. Baker after the murder.
Trial Recap: Day Two
On Tuesday, two officers who discovered Baker’s body provided emotional testimony. The first came from Nathaniel Proctor with the 23rd Judicial District Drug Task Force. He is the one who opened the door to Sgt. Baker’s vehicle, discovering his body.
“I moved to the back door on the driver’s side and his legs and feet come out into my chest. And.. “What was your reaction when you opened that rear door? As a father I thought about his little girl,” said Proctor.
Proctor went on to say he saw Baker was burned under his arm to his waist area. Another 23rd Judicial District Drug Task Force officer, Darrin Adams, responded to the scene. He also provided compelling testimony in court.
“I realized this crime scene might be the only thing that would lead us to his killer. I looked at the backseat where Sgt. Baker’s body was. I noticed a body camera wedged in the backseat. It was hot,” explained Adams.
Trial Recap: Day Three
On Wednesday, the courtroom heard from Dr. Edmund Hadley, MD, of Sumner Regional Medical Center who treated Wiggins upon his arrival to the Horizon Medical Center. Wiggins was admitted on June 1, 2018. Hadley went over the medical documents created for Wiggins’ visit.
Hadley stated Wiggins told staff he had a history of low blood sugar. He also complained of weakness and fatigue. The doctor said did not find any signs of acute psychosis, something both the defense and prosecution asked him about.
Also on Wednesday, jurors watched body camera footage of Sgt. Daniel Baker’s last moments.
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 the accused killer’s 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 said he gave Sgt. Baker CPR.
Trial Recap: Day Four
After closing arguments were made on Thursday, the jury took only 2 hours to deliberate and hand down guilty verdicts on all counts against Wiggins.
Wiggins has been found guilty of the following charges:
- False Report
- Premeditated 1st Degree Murder
- Felony Murder
- Theft of Property (Patrol Unit)
- Theft of Property (Guns)
- Criminal Impersonation Law Enforcement: 2 Counts
- Tampering with Evidence
- Arson of Vehicle
- Abuse of Corpse