Trooper catches suspected deputy killer

Jacob Smith • Jun 1, 2018 at 11:30 AM

Steven Wiggins, the suspected killer of Dickson County sheriff’s Sgt. Daniel Baker, was captured Friday morning after Wiggins was the subject of a Tennessee Blue Alert since Wednesday morning.

According to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation interim director Jason Locke, Baker was found dead in his car Wednesday morning after he investigated a suspicious vehicle on Sam Vineyard Road in Dickson County.

“We are very pleased now that this person is in custody and the public is safe,” said Locke. “We can continue to focus our investigative efforts toward preparing this case to go to trial so justice can be served.”

Tennessee state Trooper Kevin Burch caught Wiggins on Stinson Road in Bon Aqua while he was on patrol and saw someone in the woodline.

“As he approached this individual, he noticed that he had tattoos and matched the general description of the suspect we were looking for,” said Tennessee Highway Patrol Col. Dereck Stewart

Stewart said Wiggins was arrested without incident, and there was no use of force involved in the arrest.

Wiggins was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries after the arrest. It had not yet been determined which jail he would be booked.

Dickson County Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe read a statement from Baker’s wife at a press conference Friday morning following the capture.

“There are no words to describe the level of devastation that myself and family are dealing with,” said the statement. “We, the family of my husband and best friend Sgt. Daniel Baker, would like to convey our gratitude to the endless efforts of the law enforcement officers, first responders, EMS, fire and rescue and volunteers in the apprehension of the two suspects that have forever changed our lives. Our deepest thank you. The family and I would like to think our local community for the outpouring of love and support during this most difficult and trying time. Lastly, 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. His service and dedication to his country and community will always be remembered.”

Bledsoe said the Dickson County Sheriff’s Department wouldn’t find closure until Wiggins was brought to justice through the court system.

“It’s a long process,” said Bledsoe. “I don’t even know if I’ll be alive at that point with the appeals process and the way things move, but I will be there each step of the way, Lord willing. If they have to wheel me into the court house, I will be there.”

District Attorney Ray Crouch Jr. said the state would pursue the death penalty for both Wiggins and an accomplice who was charged earlier in the week.

During the investigation, authorities developed information that Erika Castro-Miles, 38, participated in Baker’s killing.

Agents charged Castro-Miles, detained in the early stages of the investigation, with one count of first-degree murder Wednesday evening. She remained in the Dickson County Jail.

“Based upon the evidence and aggravating factors in this case, the state will be seeking the death penalty for both defendants,” said Crouch. “The defendants are without bail, and we will argue against any request for bail.”

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