CHARLOTTE, TN (WSMV) - Jury selection in the murder trial of Steven Wiggins began on Monday in the Knox County.
Wiggins is accused of killing Dickson County Sgt. Daniel Baker in 2018. First-degree premeditated murder and first-degree felony murder are among the charges that Wiggins faces.
The judge in the case ruled last month the state could still seek the death penalty in the case.
On Monday, about 50 Knox County residents were summoned to court and more expected to be brought in on Tuesday. The trial was moved to Knox County due to the attention it has drawn in Middle Tennessee.
Once selected, the jurors are likely to be sent to Dickson County by this Sunday to begin hearing proof. The jurors will be sequestered, and the trial is expected to last two or three weeks.
Wiggins is accused of shooting Baker six times on the morning of May 30, 2018. He was in the area of Sam Vineyard Road responding to a report about a suspicious vehicle around 7 a.m. When fellow deputies didn’t hear from him, they tracked his car using GPS. They later found Baker dead in his cruiser in a wooded area.
Steven Wiggins, accused of killing Dickson County Sheriff Sgt. Daniel Baker, appeared in court on Aug. 28, 2018. (WSMV)
NBC News reported at the time that Wiggins took Baker’s gun and car. Wiggins and his girlfriend, Erika Castro-Miles, the ditched the car. Investigators said video showed Wiggins running away from the scene.
Castro-Miles has also been charged with first-degree premeditated murder. Castro-Miles was arrested shortly after the incident. She was found underneath a house.
She had called Kingston Springs police on May 29, 2018, saying that Wiggins had slapped her, pulled her hair out, pointed a gun at her head and threatened to shoot her before stealing her car and taking off. She told police he had been taking methamphetamine and smoking marijuana.
Baker, 32, had joined the Dickson County Sheriff’s Department in February 2008. He was promoted to patrol corporal in April 2011 and became a patrol sergeant in September 2012. He became a member of the Dickson County SORT team in August 2013. He was previously a deputy in Humphreys County, worked as a guard at the Renaissance Center in Dickson and was in the United States Marine Corps Reserve.