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The Great Smoky Mountain Journal

Tuesday, January 01, 2019 03:01 PM

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Man Accused Of Killing Dickson County Sheriff's Deputy Now In Custody

Steven Wiggins, the man accused of killing Dickson County Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Daniel Baker, has been captured, according to the TBI.

Investigators ended their exhaustive search for Wiggins Friday on Stinson Branch Road in Hickman County.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol said Wiggins was taken into custody by Trooper Kevin Burch of the THP Lawrenceburg District. Trooper Burch was traveling down the road when he saw a man on the woodline matching Wiggins' description. Investigators said he approached Wiggins, noticed his tattoos and drew his weapon.

Authorities said Wiggins was taken into custody without incident then charged with first degree premeditated murder.

NewsChannel 5 believes Wiggins was taken to TriStar Natchez Hospital to get checked out after being on the run for 48 hours. TBI said Wiggins will be booked into the Dickson County Jail once he's released from the hospital.

The manhunt for Wiggins began after a Dickson County deputy was found dead in a patrol car at 7 a.m. Wednesday. Sgt. Daniel Baker was responding to reports of a suspicious vehicle on Sam Vineyard Road. Baker, 32, was a former Marine and served as a Dickson County Sheriff's deputy since 2008.

In a statement released by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, it was revealed that Baker failed to check in after responding to a call about a suspicious car and attempts were made to track him and his vehicle, via GPS. Another officer later discovered the Sgt. Baker dead inside his patrol car, about two miles away from the initial call, off of Bear Creek Valley Road.

The TBI said that, based on video evidence and other information, Wiggins was determined to be "the individual responsible for the deputy's death."

The Dickson County sheriff said investigators had new information Wednesday about what happened and were even more heartbroken upon learning what Sgt. Baker endured after witnessing "video that is very disturbing." When asked to elaborate, the sheriff declined.

"I just recently was able to get information on what happened, and I'm even more heartbroken today as to what he endured. I will not go into the specifics of that. I just wanted to share with you from my heart that I knew some things yesterday, but when you--when you're able to witness that from our video it's more disturbing," said Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe.

When asked if he saw video of the shooting Sheriff Bledsoe said, "I'll just say that I've witnessed video that is very disturbing."

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said they received 139 tips to the TBI line during their search for Wiggins. The search spanned from the air to on foot in multiple counties by a number of investigators including the TBI and U.S. Marshal's Office.

"It [the search] won't end until we get him in custody," the Dickson County sheriff said at a news conference Thursday.

Agents encouraged people to check their properties to see if anything has been disturbed and report it to the TBI.