Police arrest suspect in decapitated body case

Friday, July 13, 2012 at 10:07am
Staff reports
0713 Henry James Baxter main.jpg
 Henry James Baxter

Metro police arrested Henry James Baxter, 37, Friday morning and charged him with criminal homicide in the killing and decapitation of 48-year-old Erman Thompson.

A mail carrier found Thompson’s decapitated body in a field at 169 Old Hermitage Ave. on Thursday afternoon, and police later identified Baxter as a suspect.

According to police, Baxter admitted to shooting Thompson in the head, then using a shovel to separate his head from his body. Police detectives found the head in a trashcan in an alley outside Baxter’s house at 116 Claiborne St. in South Nashville.

Police believe Thompson was killed last Sunday and that his body was dumped in the field late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

Thompson and Baxter lived at the house with Thompson's wife and her three children. Baxter is being held in lieu of $750,000 bond.

10 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 7/13/12 at 8:42

An underclass for sure!

By: Left-of-Local on 7/13/12 at 9:37

That awkward moment when you see a news story that is so precisely textbook to what you'd imagine, who you'd imagine and WHERE you'd imagine.

By: Left-of-Local on 7/13/12 at 9:38

PS- As a resident of the ACTUAL South Nashville, can someone please correct the egregious error of calling this area "South Nashville"? It is NOT. NOT AT ALL.

By: NewYorker1 on 7/13/12 at 10:41

It sounds like Baxter was angry at the guy.

By: bobcnote on 7/13/12 at 11:22

Left, If you google map it, It most definatly does show it in South Nashville! unless you go by a different N-S-E-W than I learned in school! Maybe I'm wrong, but it sure looks south to me!

By: bgtmgiantsfan on 7/13/12 at 11:43

Not real smart to kill someone and go to the trouble of dumping the body somewhere else and then tossing the head in your own trash can. Doesn't seem to be the brightest bulb in the box.

By: NewYorker1 on 7/13/12 at 12:36

Decapitation by a shovel sounds a little painful to me. Ouch!

By: clsand99 on 7/13/12 at 6:08

Left of Local may be Loco, but he is right about South Nashville. This address is NOT in South Nashville. South Nashville was long ago defined as the area north of Wedgewood, south of Chestnut, east of 8th Ave S, and west of Nolensville Pike. Just google "South Nashville" and see the map. Even google maps knows.

By: rickmuz on 7/13/12 at 7:34

@ Left-of-local... You SO nailed it!!!!

By: Ask01 on 7/15/12 at 12:02

I can't help but wonder, after reading of the living arrangement, if this might not have made for a great Jerry Springer episode.