DICKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The trial for the man accused of shooting and killing a Dickson County Sheriff’s deputy in 2018 continues Tuesday after heart-wrenching moments Monday.
The murder trial of Steven Wiggins, the man charged with killing Dickson County Sergeant Daniel Baker in 2018, is being held in Dickson County and heard by a jury selected from Knoxville residents.
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.
On Tuesday morning, two officers who discovered the body of Sgt. Baker 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.
Adams made sure to collect the body camera for evidence.
Sgt. Baker was killed on May 30, 2018, after responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle in Dickson County. An indictment states Sgt. Baker determined the car Wiggins was occupying was stolen and ordered him and his passenger out of the car.
Investigators said Wiggins fired several shots at Sgt. Baker, striking him, then dragged his body to the patrol car and placed him in the back seat. Wiggins then drove the patrol car several miles, parked it and set Sgt. Baker’s body on fire, court documents allege.
The judge has warned there may be emotional evidence in the case and law enforcement attending the trial will not be in uniform.
Wiggins, who faces charges of first-degree murder, vehicular arson, abuse of a corpse and impersonation of a law enforcement officer, could be sentenced to death.