Man accused of beating, setting homeless man on fire in Tenn.

Justin Blankenbaker (Courtesy: Metro Nashville Police Department)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A man was charged with criminal homicide Friday after reportedly confessing to beating and murdering a homeless man in east Nashville.

According to police, Justin Blankenbaker, 31, allegedly beat Horace Horton with a cinder block before setting him on fire at a homeless camp near Shelby Park.

Authorities responded to reports of an explosion Monday in a heavily wooded area of Davidson Street around 6:30 p.m.

Upon their arrival, authorities discovered Horton’s body on fire. A second fire, with a small propane tank in the center, was found near Horton’s body.

Horace Horton (Courtesy: Metro Nashville Police Department)
Horace Horton (Courtesy: Metro Nashville Police Department)

Blankenbaker lived in the same homeless camp as Horton and and the two fought before Horton was murdered, police said in a release.

The preliminary autopsy revealed that blunt force trauma was a significant factor in Horton’s death.

Blankenbaker is now being held in the Metro Jail on $250,000 bond.

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