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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Steven Wiggins Sentenced To Life In Federal Prison

Defendant Pleaded Guilty to Federal Charges Which Resulted in the Death of Dickson County Sheriff’s Sergeant

NASHVILLE – Steven J. Wiggins, 33, of Dickson, Tennessee, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court to life in prison, announced U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin for the Middle District of Tennessee. 

Wiggins was indicted by a federal grand jury in August 2019 on carjacking and firearms violations which resulted in the death of Dickson County Sheriff’s Sergeant Daniel Baker on May 30, 2018.  Following the federal indictment, the United States sought and received approval to seek the death penalty against Wiggins. On March 25, 2022, Wiggins pleaded guilty to the federal charges under a binding plea agreement with an agreed sentence of life imprisonment.

“Our office will never let a criminal attack on law enforcement go unanswered,” said U.S. Attorney Wildasin.  “The full force of the Department of Justice will be brought to bear on anyone who commits such a heinous crime. I want to acknowledge the painstaking work of our many law enforcement partners, including District Attorney General Ray Crouch, who led the prosecution efforts at the state level, as we proceeded with the parallel prosecutions of Wiggins.   Finally, let me acknowledge and thank Lisa Baker, Sergeant Baker’s widow, for staying the course through many difficult days of proceedings during the past four years.  Together, we have achieved justice for Sergeant Baker.”

Wiggins brutally murdered Sergeant Baker by shooting him six times after Baker encountered him when responding to a suspicious vehicle call.  Wiggins was found guilty of the murder by a Circuit Court Jury after a trial on August 5, 2021, and the jury imposed the death sentence.

Following today’s sentencing, and in keeping with the terms of the plea agreement, the United States moved to withdraw its notice of intent to seek the death penalty, and Wiggins will serve life in prison.   This sentence has no effect on the State’s previously imposed death sentence, which will continue to move forward. 

Agencies involved in the initial search and capture of Wiggins and the subsequent investigation include the Dickson County Sheriff’s Department; the 23rd District Attorney General’s Office; the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; the Tennessee Highway Patrol; the FBI; and numerous other local, state, and federal agencies.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert McGuire prosecuted the case.

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Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Contact: 
David Boling Public Affairs Officer 615-736-5956 david.boling2@usdoj.gov
Updated April 26, 2022