DICKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — “Relief” is how the widow of slain Dickson County Sgt. Daniel Baker feels today.
After more than three years of fighting for justice, Lisa Baker says they can start the healing process.
“You don’t realize the weight of something until it’s lifted,” Lisa Baker told News 2.
That weight bearing on the Baker family for years.
“It’s like a nightmare that’s reality,” she explained.
May 30, 2018, was the day Sgt. Baker was brutally murdered while working, his last breath was caught on camera. It’s a moment his widow has lived over and over in court.
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“Watching it and hearing it, that’s hard. I could close my eyes and see it. I don’t know if I’ll able be able to watch it and not think about it being his last moments.”
That body camera evidence was just one of the many pieces of the puzzle convicting Steven Wiggins to the death penalty.
“Any glimpse of closure would be for him 100 percent [to] not be able to breathe again,” said Lisa.
Wiggins joins the 47 others on Tennessee’s death row.
“We got him, we finally got him. Now I know that he knows his days are numbered. The burden is now on him instead of on me,” she said.
Lisa visited with the jurors after the verdict was read, she says, at their request.
“I’m so glad I got to do that. All of them were so, they were shocked to open the door and see me standing there, but then they were immediately, you know, tearful and joyful and wanted to just hug me, and tell me how sorry they are for my loss,” saying that she hugged and thanked all of them.
The conviction is a big step in a long journey that lies ahead.
“I knew from the beginning that it was going to be a long process and it’s still a long process. It’s still more chapters to come, but at least we’ve closed this chapter.”
Their daughter Meredith was just 22 months old when her dad was killed.
“I want her to remember her dad. I want her to have those moments where she feels like she is close to him, so I try to share all the good memories with her.”
For 5-year-old Meredith Baker, it’s a life of making unanswered calls to her dad in heaven. Videos and pictures are all she really has as she still strives to be a hero like her daddy.
“I see things in her that are him, and she says she wants to be a police officer, which I plan to change that,” she laughed.
Today, Lisa wears the wedding ring Daniel had on the day he was killed, saying she knows he is still watching over them.
“I feel like he’s with me and I can almost hear his voice sometimes thinking well I know what Daniel would have said or what he would have wanted,” she explained.
Lisa says the journey that lies ahead will truly never end for her and their daughter.
“Yes, we are on the surviving end of it, but it impacts our daily life so for the journey to end then maybe when I’m gone from the world one day because I’ll always try to honor Daniel and promote good and share joy and kindness. Even past all the court stuff that’s on the journey, those are hurdles in the journey but being a good person and making sure Meredith remembers her dad that’s what’s important to me,” said Lisa.
Lisa says as long as she is alive, she plans to be there the day Wiggins is put to death and would imagine Meredith will be by her side.