A former Hennepin County probation officer on trial for her alleged role in a kidnapping and murder plot testified Friday that she was manipulated by her boyfriend, but then was caught in contradictions when pressed by prosecutors.
Elsa Segura, 29, said she was accustomed to doing favors for her boyfriend and didn't question why he wanted her to set up a home showing with Realtor Monique Baugh, who was kidnapped from the house on Dec. 31, 2019, and fatally shot.
"Throughout pretty much our relationship, I was booking flights for him," Segura testified. "I was booking hotel rooms, Megabus tickets, Ubers … different stuff like that.
"I didn't think anything violent would come out of [the home showing] … or that anyone would be hurt. If I knew that, I would have never made the call."
Segura is on trial in Hennepin County District Court on one count each of aiding and abetting premeditated first-degree murder, aiding and abetting attempted premeditated first-degree murder, aiding and abetting kidnapping, and aiding and abetting first-degree felony murder while committing kidnapping.
Prosecutors say she helped Lyndon A. Wiggins in order to maintain their relationship, which had been rocked by infidelity. Segura is accused of using a "burner phone" and alias to lure Baugh to a bogus home showing in Maple Grove. There, prosecutors say, two men kidnapped Baugh and pressed her for the whereabouts of her boyfriend, Jon Mitchell-Momoh, who was engaged in a business dispute with Wiggins.
Baugh, 28, had two daughters, ages 4 and 2, with Mitchell-Momoh.
Segura spoke with no obvious emotion under questioning from her attorney, Amanda Montgomery. But after about 80 minutes into the cross-examination by Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Paige Starkey, she began to cry.
Segura said she had stood up to Wiggins in the past, threatening to break up with him or telling him he couldn't do anything for her that she couldn't do for herself.
Why didn't you stand up to him about the home showing? Starkey asked.
"I don't know," Segura said, her voice cracking for the first time after about three hours. She reached for a tissue.
Starkey asked if Segura notified police about her call to Baugh.
"No," Segura said, breaking down into tears and dabbing her eyes with the tissue.
Segura composed herself.
"You knew something bad was going to happen, didn't you?" Starkey asked.
"Yes, because it was related to the drug business," Segura said, reiterating her earlier testimony that she thought Wiggins' friends wanted to use the home to stash drugs, although she did not expect violence.
Segura began her testimony under questioning from Montgomery by recounting her rise from intern to senior probation officer in Hennepin County, where she did not supervise defendants. She first met Wiggins when she was 18; their relationship began several years later in 2016.
Segura testified that six months into their relationship, Wiggins drove her to a townhouse and asked her to rent it under her name. She obliged. Another time, he drove her to a dealership and had her lease a truck for him. Segura said Wiggins gave her $17,000 in cash as a down payment.
"Whenever I would want to get out of the relationship with him, he would bring the truck up — not give me the truck to turn in and use it as a way to keep me tied to him," Segura said. She added that Wiggins gave her cash to make payments on the vehicle, which she could not afford on her own.
"Did you love Mr. Wiggins?" Montgomery asked.
"I did," Segura said, adding that he choked her once when she tried to break up with him.
Segura said she knew Wiggins was involved in drug trafficking and, at his request, bought him pill presses.
"Did you think much of it?" Montgomery asked of the purchases she made for Wiggins.
"No, I didn't," she said.
Segura testified that on Dec. 29, 2019, Wiggins gave her a new cellphone, showed her a home listing and handed her a sheet of paper with an alias, Baugh's name and phone number. He told her to use the phone away from her Fridley home to set up the bogus home showing with Baugh. Afterward, Segura said, she was to burn the sheet of paper.
Under cross-examination by Starkey, Segura said she violated work policy and accessed criminal justice databases to look up Wiggins' record.
"Going in, you knew he had a conviction for aggravated robbery and there was a kidnapping component?" Starkey asked.
"Yes," Segura said.
Starkey challenged Segura's claim about the truck, pointing to several messages in which Wiggins said he would give her the truck to return. Segura said Wiggins never followed through on his promises.
Segura also testified that she had deleted some text messages between herself and Wiggins before her arrest last year, although she initially told investigators she hadn't. She also admitted to lying when she told them that she and Wiggins were only friends.
"You wanted him to be satisfied … you didn't want to alienate him?" Starkey asked of Segura's motivations for helping Wiggins. "You wanted to pull him in?"
"Correct," Segura said.
The prosecution and defense rested their cases Friday. Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday.
The men who kidnapped and shot Baugh and shot and wounded Mitchell-Momoh — Cedric Berry and Berry Davis — were convicted and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Wiggins and Shante Davis, who is Davis' sister and Berry's wife, are also charged in the case and are awaiting trial.