DICKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The man accused in the violent, disturbing murder of Dickson County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Daniel Baker appeared via Zoom in a Dickson County courtroom Wednesday.
Details on the mental evaluations of Steven Wiggins were laid out from both sides in the pretrial motions hearing. Wiggins is accused of shooting Sgt. Baker multiple times and then setting his patrol car on fire in 2018.
On Wednesday, as the state requested to have the defendant mentally evaluated by their own expert, the defense addressed concerns about what type of information Wiggins may reveal.
“The states experts should be limited and not be allowed for any purpose to go into the facts and circumstances of the death of Sgt. Baker, rather Mr. Wiggins has feelings of remorse or lack thereof in the kidnapping of Sgt. Baker, the likelihood that Mr. Wiggins will be a danger to others in the future, the facts, and circumstances of any acts of, prior acts of violence and any other questions or topics designed to induce statements by Mr. Wiggins that may be used to support the state’s alleged statutory aggravated factors,” Defense Attorney Luke Evans explained.
Judge David Wolfe ultimately put down orders to allow the state’s expert under restricted conditions, stating anything the defense expert relies on, their expert will get as well. He added that the DA won’t see any of the information until sentencing.
The judge wanted to move on the motion quickly, so that no additional delays were caused in the murder trial that’s already more than three years old.
“This is coming pretty late. Close to the, actually passed I think, the deadline I initially established for this information, but I am fully cognizant of the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has severely limited the ability of the defendant to be able to, the defense council to be able to communicate with and be able to obtain some of the examinations that may be necessary,” Judge Wolfe explained.
Coronavirus protocols have delayed the murder trial, as well the ability to complete Wiggins’ mental health evaluations.
Additional motions will be heard next week, and for the first time in nearly 2 years, Wiggins will physically appear in the courtroom.
Wiggins was charged with first degree murder, vehicular arson, abuse of a corpse and impersonation of a law enforcement officer, among other charges. The state can seek the death penalty if convicted.