Suspect captured in Tennessee sheriff's deputy fatal shooting

The man accused of fatally sho...

Posted: Jun 2, 2018 8:48 AM
Updated: Jun 2, 2018 8:48 AM

The man accused of fatally shooting sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Daniel Baker in Tennessee was given a reminder Friday of the law enforcement veteran and former US Marine.

"Sgt. Baker's handcuffs were immediately taken in our possession, and they are on the suspect at this time and he will be taken to the Dickson County Jail with those," Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe said.

Steven Wiggins was captured Friday morning following a two-day manhunt, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Wiggins, who faces the death penalty, was taken to a hospital with injuries consistent with spending days exposed to the elements, authorities said.

A trooper had earlier spotted Wiggins standing on the edge of a road in a neighboring county, Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. Col. Dereck Stewart told reporters.

Trooper Kevin Burch, new to the job, noticed that the man's tattoos and appearance matched those of the suspect wanted in the deputy's shooting death, Stewart said. Burch drew his weapon.

"Mr. Wiggins ... was totally obedient to the trooper's order to get on the ground," Stewart said. "This is a good day for us and ... allows us all to be able to focus on the Baker family."

Bledsoe said Baker -- "being the man that he is" -- had volunteered to work an earlier shift when he was killed Wednesday morning in Dickson County, about 40 miles west of Nashville.

The sheriff read a statement from Baker's wife, Lisa, who thanked law enforcement officials and the community for their support.

"I would like to ask our family, friends and community to help our daughter Meredith to always know how wonderful and amazing her father is," Bledsoe, growing emotional, read from the widow's statement. "His service and dedication to his country and community will always be remembered."

The bureau tweeted a photo of the bespectacled and handcuffed Wiggins, his shirt and jeans muddied and torn, in the back of a patrol car two days after authorities say he shot Baker to death following a 911 call reporting a suspicious vehicle.

District Attorney General Ray Crouch said he will seek the death penalty against Wiggins, who faces a charge of first-degree premeditated murder.

The manhunt for the 31-year-old suspect began Wednesday morning along winding, treacherous terrain in rural Middle Tennessee, authorities said.

One day before the deputy's death, Wiggins was charged with aggravated assault, accused of slapping and pulling the hair of a woman he also threatened with a gun, according to a police report.

Erika Castro-Miles, described as an acquaintance of the suspect, told police Wiggins had been "doing meth all night and smoking marijuana" before assaulting her and stealing her car from a motel Tuesday morning in Kingston Springs, Tennessee, the police report said. He eluded arrest.

Castro-Miles, 38, was charged this week with one count of first-degree murder in connection with the deputy's death, according to the bureau. Prosecutors will also seek the death penalty against her.

She told investigators she was seated in the deputy's vehicle with Wiggins and saw the suspect shoot Baker, 32, according to a criminal court affidavit. The woman fled and hid under a house before she was arrested.

Baker, a 10-year law enforcement veteran, had responded to a resident's call about a suspicious vehicle about 7 a.m. Wednesday, said Susan Niland, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee bureau.

After a period of not being able to contact the deputy, authorities tracked down Baker's vehicle with GPS in a wooded area about 2 miles from the location of the initial call by an officer from another agency. Baker was found dead in his vehicle.

Baker joined the sheriff's office full time in 2008 and became a member of the special operations unit in 2013, according to the sheriff.

A reward for information leading to Wiggins' capture grew to $46,000 after contributions from Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, federal law enforcement agencies and police associations from various cities.

"If the trooper was eligible, I think he would do the right thing and give it to Baker's family," Stewart said of the reward and the highway patrolman who made the arrest.

Bledsoe said he saw video from the shooting scene Thursday that left him "even more heartbroken" about what Baker endured.

"When you're able to witness that from our video, it's more disturbing," he said, without elaborating.

A friend of Baker's set up a GoFundMe page for the family of the slain deputy, who had recently purchased a home.

"He is one of the most courageous, loving, and (hardworking men) I know and he would be the first to volunteer or help someone out," wrote the friend, Blaine Marlin.

Baker once helped rescue a woman trapped underwater in a vehicle and, more recently, joined in the capture a gunman at a shooting outside a theater, according to Bledsoe.

Baker's funeral will be held on Tuesday at First Baptist Church in his native Dickson. He will be buried at Dickson County Memorial Gardens.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified Dickson County, Tennessee.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 26273

Reported Deaths: 1126
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin8867641
Ramsey3252140
Stearns205014
Nobles15625
Anoka148878
Dakota141464
Washington68034
Olmsted67211
Kandiyohi5111
Rice4833
Scott4602
Clay44129
Mower4062
Wright3392
Todd3361
Sherburne2482
Carver2322
Benton1823
Steele1670
Blue Earth1480
Freeborn1420
Martin1325
St. Louis11814
Pine930
Nicollet8811
Lyon811
Winona8015
Cottonwood790
Watonwan780
Crow Wing774
Unassigned7511
Carlton750
Otter Tail730
Goodhue715
Chisago641
Polk612
Itasca5610
Dodge530
Chippewa521
Morrison480
Le Sueur461
Meeker460
Douglas450
Becker430
Jackson420
Murray400
McLeod390
Isanti360
Waseca270
Pennington230
Rock230
Mille Lacs231
Faribault200
Swift190
Beltrami180
Wabasha180
Fillmore171
Sibley160
Brown162
Norman150
Pipestone120
Marshall120
Kanabec121
Wilkin113
Cass112
Aitkin110
Wadena100
Pope100
Koochiching90
Big Stone80
Redwood70
Renville70
Mahnomen61
Lincoln60
Yellow Medicine60
Grant40
Traverse40
Red Lake40
Lac qui Parle30
Clearwater30
Roseau30
Hubbard30
Houston20
Kittson10
Lake10
Stevens10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 20767

Reported Deaths: 583
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk4541137
Woodbury283737
Black Hawk177548
Buena Vista9971
Linn97179
Dallas94025
Marshall91218
Wapello62814
Johnson6189
Muscatine56541
Crawford5472
Tama41029
Scott38010
Dubuque35521
Louisa34911
Pottawattamie31110
Sioux2980
Jasper26917
Wright2120
Washington1958
Warren1661
Plymouth1462
Story1261
Allamakee1204
Mahaska9912
Poweshiek928
Henry722
Bremer706
Boone700
Des Moines671
Clarke660
Clinton651
Taylor640
Webster621
Hamilton610
Guthrie543
Cedar491
Benton431
Monroe415
Shelby370
Cherokee370
Jones370
Jefferson350
Marion350
Osceola340
Clayton343
Cerro Gordo331
Iowa330
Dickinson330
Buchanan330
Madison292
Lee290
Fayette280
Sac280
Davis280
Harrison260
Monona250
Clay250
Lyon240
Winneshiek240
Emmet240
Lucas222
Hardin210
Grundy200
Mills200
Delaware191
Humboldt191
Floyd191
Franklin170
Appanoose173
Hancock160
Butler161
Ida150
Greene150
Pocahontas150
Page140
Kossuth140
Keokuk140
Audubon131
Jackson130
Carroll130
Chickasaw130
Howard120
Cass120
Winnebago110
Montgomery91
Adair90
Union90
Van Buren90
Adams70
Palo Alto70
Calhoun60
Ringgold40
Mitchell40
Fremont40
Worth30
Wayne10
Decatur10
Unassigned00
Rochester
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 69°
Mason City
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 71°
Albert Lea
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 66°
Austin
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 72°
Charles City
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 68°
Another round of severe weather tonight
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Pandemic food benefits available to families

Image

Sean Weather 6/5

Image

Covid-19 Cases on the Rise

Image

Becoming a better ally

Image

Giving your best

Image

Coronavirus attacking your blood vessels?

Image

Young Protester's impact on police reform

Image

How important are school resource officers?

Image

Graffiti on Rochester trail

Image

Expedited breast cancer treatment

Community Events