Suspect accused of killing Dickson County deputy in custody

Steven Wiggins has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Dickson County Sheriff Sgt. Daniel Baker. (Photo: TBI/Dickson County Sheriff's Office)

Shocking details are coming out about the final moments of Dickson County Sheriff Sgt. Daniel Baker’s life.

Investigators said Steven Wiggins shot Baker six times before setting his patrol car on fire.

“This is like someone has killed one of my family members,” Dickson County Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe said.

Wiggins is also accused of using the deputy’s radio to communicate with other officers pretending he was Baker.

Bledsoe has said from the very beginning when the truth comes out it’s going to be hard to hear.

It was a very emotional morning for law enforcement as they described the details of that day during a court appearance for Wiggins and Erika Castro-Miles.

Every member of law enforcement at a press conference after the hearing had a hard time keeping it together as the details of the murder were hard for them to hear.

“The law enforcement presence has been remarkable from the start and continues today,” said U.S. Attorney Don Cochran.

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More than a dozen members of different law enforcement agencies came together as details surrounding the gruesome murder of Baker were released for the first time.

“It’s no different than if you broke into my house and killed one of my family members. This is devastating to us,” said Bledsoe.

Everyone from the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office to TBI agents to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, leaning on one another and more emotional than ever.

“In this family, no one fights alone,” said TBI Acting Director Jason Locke.

Appearing in court for the first time, Wiggins was still wearing Baker’s handcuffs.

Cochran said violence against members of law enforcement must stop, adding these are people who put their lives at risk every day to protect their communities.

“Our message here today is simple. If you come to Middle Tennessee and harm one of our law enforcement partners, we will stand together and come after you with everything we have,” said Cochran.

That’s why prosecutors said they are seeking the death penalty for Wiggins.

According to a criminal complaint filed this week, Sgt. Baker responded to a suspicious vehicle call May 30. Upon arrival, Baker encountered Wiggins and Castro-Miles in a stolen vehicle with a flat tire. Wiggins gave a false statement and a fraudulent social security number. Wiggins was violating probation for previous charges. Baker ordered Wiggins and Castro-Miles out of the car.

Wiggins told Baker that his door was stuck, so the officer ordered both suspects to exit the vehicle from the passenger side.

When Baker walked around the rear of the car, Wiggins fired at least five shots from a .45 caliber pistol. According to the complaint, Baker was hit by at least one of the bullets and, in an effort to seek cover, collapsed several yards away from the scene.

Wiggins then approached Sgt. Baker and fired several rounds at close range. The autopsy reports Baker suffered six gunshot wounds, including three to his head.

Officials say after shooting Baker, Wiggins set the police cruiser on fire, with Baker inside.

Wiggins allegedly took Baker's gun and radio, and even communicated to other police officers, pretending to be Baker.

Castro-Miles had a video arraignment Friday morning.

A trial date has been set for Aug. 19, 2019.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Lindsay Bramson joined News4 in June 2016 as an investigative reporter.

Multimedia Producer

Kara is an Emmy Award-winning digital producer. She is a Cincinnati native and an alumna of the University of South Carolina. She previously worked at WRDW-TV in Augusta, Ga., before moving to Nashville five years ago to work at WSMV-TV.

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