After years of delays, Dickson County residents prepare for Steven Wiggins' capital murder trial

Steven Wiggins Facing Federal Charges In Deputy's Killing
Posted at 6:04 PM, Jul 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 19:29:13-04

CHARLOTTE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's been more than three years since a Dickson County Sheriff's deputy was killed in the line of duty, and a manhunt for his killer went on for several days.

Now as the case heads for trial, the small town of Charlotte prepares for yet another high-profile murder trial. Only a few months ago, Joseph Daniels' murder trial was held in the same courthouse.

The Country View Market may not be in the center of Charlotte, but it's always at the heart of a community conversation. "It’s like this cloud is just hanging over everybody," said Julliane Ford, a Dickson County resident. "I just think it’s a tragedy."

On the lips and minds of all the locals is the upcoming capital murder trial that for years has felt like it's sitting on a shelf.

Back in 2018, investigators say Steven Wiggins shot and killed Sgt. Daniel Baker of the Dickson County Sheriff's Office. Then, for several days, he led law enforcement on a manhunt through rural parts of Dickson County. The crime was so brazen, it left a lot of residents afraid to leave the house.

Sheriff Says They 'Lost A Hero' When Deputy Was Killed
Sgt. Daniel Baker

"Somebody who could do something like that, and then they’re out and about in the woods somewhere, they were pretty fearful," said Belinda Holman, a cashier at Country View Market.

But then finally, Wiggins was caught just two miles from where they found the body. While the capture was swift, the scales of justice have tipped slower. "We were kind of frustrated because it was taking so long," said Holman.

Now, after years of legal and pandemic delays, the trial will begin with opening statements next Monday.

"I just want the best for that family, I want closure for that family, I want healing to happen for that family," said Ford.

At the market that is always at the heart of the conversation, they're wearing a little bit of their hearts on their sleeves.

honoring sgt. daniel baker bracelet
we've got your 6

"We all got these," said Holman. Several employees are wearing blue armbands that read "Honoring Sgt. Daniel Baker" and "We've got your six."

"We’re going to wear them until it’s done," said Holman.