Lawyers seek to disqualify prosecutor in Steven Wiggins case

district attorney ray crouch
Posted at 10:31 PM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 23:31:08-04

DICKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVF) — On the heels of a guilty verdict in the Joseph Daniels murder trial, another big Dickson County trial is scheduled to start next month.

It’s the murder trial of Steven Wiggins – the man accused of killing a Dickson County Sheriff’s Deputy -- Sergeant Daniel Baker, back in 2018.

But a new filing in the case seeks to disqualify District Attorney General Ray Crouch from prosecuting the case.

Crouch had earlier announced that he would be seeking the death penalty in the case -- but a new legal filing asks a judge to throw out that request for the death penalty, and find an entirely new prosecutor, saying:

"District Attorney General Crouch and his office must be disqualified from further participation in the prosecution of Mr. Wiggins," saying Crouch has "strong personal interest in, and bias in favor of, Sgt. Baker, his family, and law enforcement."

The legal filing cites Crouch's several appearances with members of the Dickson County Sheriff's Office and Lisa Baker, Sgt. Daniel Baker's widow. Specifically, the filing attached pictures of Crouch with Baker at the signing of the Sgt. Daniel Baker Act, which aims to reduce the amount of time between a death penalty conviction and the carrying out of the sentence.

The motion also points to Crouch's prosecution of a man who posted on Facebook an image of two people urinating on what was photoshopped to look like Sgt. Baker's grave.

While a judge threw out that case, a federal lawsuit in response to that prosecution continues.

Crouch has not yet filed a response to the request that he be removed from the case.