Metro police arrested Learice Thomas Jr., 30, on Sunday, and charged him in the beating death of an elderly west Nashville man. He allegedly attempted to set fire to the victim’s home.
A witness called Metro police at 4 a.m. Sunday to report that Thomas had broken several windows and entered the Earl Lee Patterson’s home on Batavia Street.
Police found Patterson beaten and gasping for breath in a bedroom. The 69-year-old was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he died just before 7 a.m. Sunday.
A witness told police Thomas tried to set a garbage bag on fire on the front porch, and once inside police said an officer found a smoldering tire in the oven. Police said they found blood on Thomas’ shoes and clothing.
Thomas was charged with criminal homicide, and police expect to add charges of especially aggravated burglary and evidence tampering.