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Complaint: Suspect shot Tennessee deputy to death, set body and patrol car on fire

Davidson County Sheriff

The man accused of killing a Tennessee deputy is also charged with trying to set his body and patrol vehicle on fire.

Steven Wiggins pleaded not guilty to a slew of charges on Friday, including premeditated first-degree murder, arson and abuse of a corpse. Wiggins has received notice that the District Attorney is seeking the death penalty against him.

New details in the case came to light inside the courtroom as the judge read off the dozen charges Wiggins is facing in the murder of Dickson County Sgt. Daniel Baker.

According to TBI, Baker was called out to a report of a “suspicious vehicle” when he was killed by Wiggins.

In court, it was revealed that Wiggins is accused of trying to set Baker’s body and patrol car on fire. Wiggins reportedly got control of Baker’s first and secondary weapon and took control of the patrol vehicle. At some point, Wiggins pretended to be a police officer and sent radio transmission out.

A deputy also called Baker’s phone and Wiggins’ answered, pretending to be Baker.

Charges:

  • Count 1: False Report
  • Count 2: First Degree Murder
  • Count 3: Felony Murder
  • Count 4: Theft of Property - $10,000 to $60,000
  • Count 5: Theft - $1,000 to $2,5000
  • Count 6: Criminal Impersonation of Law Enforcement
  • Count 7: Criminal Impersonation of Law Enforcement
  • Count 8: Tampering with Evidence
  • Count 9: Arson of Vehicle
  • Count 10: Abuse of Corpse
  • Count 11: Possession of a firearm involving violence
  • Count 12: Possession of a firearm involving violence

A Special Grand Jury returned all the charges Thursday evening.

Wiggins is being represented by a public defender and he's now facing federal charges. Federal charges against Steven Joshua Wiggins include carjacking resulting in Dickson County sheriff's Sgt. Daniel Baker's death; using, carrying and shooting a gun while committing a violent crime; having that violent crime result in another person's death; and being a convicted felon with a gun.

Wiggins’ trial is set for August 19, 2019. He's being held without bond.

Erika Castro-Miles was also in court on Friday, charged with first-degree murder, to which she pleaded not guilty.

Criminal Complaint, Murder of Dickson Sgt. Daniel Baker

All information below is according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court for middle Tennessee.

On May 30, Sgt. Daniel Baker responded to a suspicious vehicle call along Sam Vineyard Road and Tidwell Switch Road. The vehicle had a flat tire and wasn’t driveable.

Sgt. Baker determined the vehicle was stolen and ordered Steven Wiggins and Erika Castro-Miles out of the car. Wiggins said his door wouldn’t open and Baker ordered him out of the passenger side.

Body cam video shows that when Sgt. Baker walked to the rear of the car, Wiggins fired five rounds from a .45 caliber pistol.

Sgt. Baker was struck by at least one round and tried to take cover before collapsing several yards away. While Sgt. Baker was on the ground, Wiggins is accused of firing five more shots, at least three at close range.

Initial autopsy reports show Sgt. Baker had six gunshot wounds: two to his torso; one to his hand; and three to the left side of his head.

After shooting Sgt. Baker, the complaint says Wiggins dragged the deputy’s body to the car, placed it in the rear seat and drove away. Wiggins drove the vehicle a few miles down the road into a field near the intersection of Bear Creek Valley Road and Byrd Road.

Wiggins is accused of setting fire to the patrol vehicle and leaving the scene.

Wiggins initially told TBI agents that he tried performing CPR on Baker. The complaint says body cam video does not show that happening.

Wiggins also told TBI agents at one point that he fired all the shots at once, but later amended his statement:

"Wiggins stated that after he had fired the first set of shots, Wiggins had gone to where Sgt. Baker was lying, thought that Sgt. Baker was dead, but "didn't want the man [Baker] to suffer." Therefore, he stated he shot Sgt. Baker in the head multiple times: "like a dog, you know, man, its suffering. You make sure." - Criminal complaint

Wiggins was captured after a two-day manhunt. When a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper arrested Wiggins on June 1, the complaint says he had a .45 caliber pistol and a glock in his backpack.

ATF agents determined that shell casings at the murder scene matched the .45 caliber found in Wiggins’ backpack and that the glock had been previously purchased by Sgt. Baker’s wife.

Wiggins was previously convicted of aggravated assault, a Class C felony, in December 2017 in Williamson County and domestic violence in Dickson County in 2009.

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