Suspect arrested after decapitated body found - WSMV News 4

Suspect arrested after decapitated body found

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Henry James Baxter Henry James Baxter
Erman Thompson Erman Thompson

Metro police arrested a suspect a day after a man's decapitated body was discovered by a mail carrier.

Henry James Baxter, 37, was charged early Friday morning with criminal homicide in the death of 48-year-old Erman Thompson.

Thompson's body was found around 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the 100 block of Old Hermitage Avenue near Claiborne Street.

During an interview Friday morning, police said Baxter admitted to shooting Thompson in the head and killing him. Investigators believe the two men were fighting over the victim's wife, Ashly Thompson.

Police said Baxter told the victim's wife that her husband had decided to abandon the family in an attempt to cover up the victim's disappearance.

"I was at church when this all went down, and from what detectives are saying he was murdered in the house," Ashly Thompson said.

Baxter said he used a shovel to separate Thompson's head from the body, then placed the head in a garbage can.

Neighbor Gina Eubanks said Baxter had been dropping hints that they needed to take out the trash, so she and a friend came to a nearby alley and checked in the garbage can.

"They grabbed a flat-head screw driver, a 2-by-4 and a glove and they emptied the trash can. And it come rolling out of the trash can," Eubanks said.

Ashly Thompson said she hasn't had the heart to explain to her three children what happened.

"I think the worst part of this is telling my kids they don't have a daddy no more," she said.

Baxter, Thompson and his wife all lived in that home on Claiborne Street along with three children, and police believe both men fathered children with Ashley Thompson.

"Homicide involving decapitation in this city is virtually unheard of," Metro police spokesman Don Aaron said. "While we have had one of those that I'm aware of, many years ago, this is certainly the first in recent times."

Baxter is being held on $750,000 bond.

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