Nashville decapitation case bound to grand jury - WKRN News 2

Nashville decapitation case bound to grand jury

Posted: Updated: July 19, 2012 05:21 PM
37-year-old Henry James Baxter 37-year-old Henry James Baxter
48-year-old Erman Thompson 48-year-old Erman Thompson
Thompson's wife Ashley in court on Thursday. Thompson's wife Ashley in court on Thursday.

A grand jury will hear the case against a Nashville man accused of killing and decapitating his adoptive father.

Henry Baxter, 37, is charged with homicide in the shooting death of 48-year-old Erman Thompson.

Police have quoted Baxter as saying he shot Thompson in the head and used a shovel to decapitate him.

Thompson's head was found in a trash can last Friday, one day after a mailman discovered his body in a field less than two blocks away.

Detectives said Baxter had been living at Thompson's home along with Thompson's wife Ashley and her three children.

In testimony Thursday, Det. Johnny Crumby, who interviewed Baxter following his arrest, stated that Baxter admitted he shot Thompson because he was threatening Ashley Thompson.

"He stated that Mr. Thompson was threatening Ms. Thompson, stated he made her do things that she didn't want to do," Crumby recalled.  "He stated that Mr. Thompson was threatening her, that if she ever left him, he would kill her."

"He stated that he shot him on a Sunday while Ms. Thompson was at church," Crumby continued, adding, "He stated that they walked into the bedroom [and] that he forced him down on the mattress and shot him in the back of the head."

Det. Crumby testified Baxter told investigators he then stuffed Thompson's body in a rolling trash can in the alley behind their home; then, Baxter waited two more days before decapitating Thompson and dumping his body down the street.

When the district attorney asked Det. Crumby why Baxter told police he did this, Det. Crumby responded, "He stated he was angry at him."

"Because of how he treated Ashley Thompson?" asked the attorney.

"Correct," responded Det. Crumby.

Det. Crumby said Baxter used the gun he purchased for Thompson to kill him.

An autopsy confirmed Thompson died of a gunshot wound to the head.

Baxter remains in jail on a $750,000 bond.

A Davidson County grand jury will hear the case sometime in the next three to six months.

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