On Thursday, June 17th, the pre-trial for the Steven Wiggins court case was held in Charlotte.
The defendant filed No.69: “MOTION TO STRIKE NOTICE OF INTENTION TO SEEK DEATH PENALTY, DISMISS INDICTMENT AND DISQUALIFY THE OFFICE OF DISTRICT ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE 23RD JUDICIAL DISTRICT.”
The defense filed these motions in hopes to remove District Attorney, Ray Crouch, from this case. The defense argued that Crouch and Mrs. Baker have formed a relationship through this case back in 2018, hence making this a conflict of interest by violating Wiggins rights of due process.
The defense added that Crouch has shifted his alliance because of compassion for Mrs. Baker. In fact, the defense believes that Crouch is “better suited to sit in the gallery as a supportive person rather than leading the charge of taking the life of Steven Wiggins.” Furthermore, the defense believes that there is an emotional incentive through this relationship and has overstepped.
Consequently, the prosecution believes that this motion is without merit. The state of Tennessee has a Bill of Rights for Victims of Crimes which states that they’re allowed to have a relationship with their prosecutor. Additionally, they state that the victim has the right to be “free from harassment, intimidation, and abuse throughout the criminal justice system.”
Judge Wolfe listened to both arguments and held a short recess before approving or denying the requests. Wolfe found both motions to be denied in this case. Therefore, District Attorney Ray Crouch and his office will remain on this case, and the prosecution will continue to seek the death penalty on Steven Wiggins.