News Sections
Accused Killer To Be Evaluated For Competency
Updated October 11, 2015 4:53 PM | Filed under: Crime
 Print    Archive    RSS
nathan Baker.jpg

(SHOALS) - A Martin County judge has ordered 33-year-old Nathan Baker to be evaluated for competency to stand trial for the murders of Allan Sims and Tom Tharp.

Baker is accused of killing 82-year-old Sims and 52-year-old Tharp, both of Shoals. He is facing 10 charges after fatally shooting the two men at a home north of Dover Hill in August.

Baker is being represented by Casey Lindeman of Huntingbird, David A. Smith of Bedford and Patrick J. Smith of Bedford. His attorneys filed a motion for a competency hearing on September 8. Martin County Circuit Court Judge Lynne Ellis granted the request on Tuesday, October 6.

Dr. Albert Fink of Samaritan Center in Vincennes will evaluate Baker.

The Crime

Baker is also facing two counts of felony burglary, two counts of felony theft and a felony charge of auto theft.

Law enforcement officers in Martin County had been searching for Tharp after he was reported missing by his family.

At approximately 9:53 a.m. Wednesday, August 26, Martin County Deputy Kevin McBeth arrived at 8030 Fred Sims Road in Shoals to see if he could find Tharp. While checking a detached garage on the property, Deputy McBeth found the body of Alan Sims. The body was lying on the garage floor. Sims had died from a single gunshot wound. Police believed Baker was a suspect in Sims' death and began a search to locate him.

Investigators were informed that Baker had previously lived on Sims's property and had been asked to leave. Police then learned that Baker had been seen on the property multiple times within the last several days.

Police issued a request to other law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for a 1997 Pontiac Sunfire that belonged to Tharp.

Around 2:17 p.m., Lawrence County deputies located the Pontiac traveling northbound on State Road 450. After attempting to initiate a traffic stop, Baker fled, leading police on a high-speed pursuit that ended on State Road 158 after Baker crashed the Sunfire. He was arrested without incident around 2:32 p.m.

During a search of the vehicle, officers located a shotgun believed to be the murder weapon.

While officers continued to search Sims' property for evidence, an officer located a shoe and a short distance later located the body of Tharp lying in a garden covered with debris. The body was located about 30 yards south of the detached garage where Sims was found. Tharp had also died from a single gunshot wound.

In a second document released by the Martin County Prosecutor's Office, Baker also faces two counts related to an incident that happened just days prior to the double homicide investigation. In that case, documents state that Baker broke into a cabin near State Route 450 and stole several items. For that case, he's charged with felony burglary and felony theft.

A third document released by the Prosecutor's office charges Baker with felony auto theft. In that case, documents show that Baker stole a vehicle from the Loogootee IGA on August 23. Baker admitted while incarcerated for the previous charges to stealing the vehicle.

Baker remains in the Martin County Jail.

Because of his criminal history Baker is also facing two counts of being a habitual offender. He is also facing numerous charges in Lawrence County.

« Previous Article
Next Article »

 Print    Archive    RSS

Have a question or comment about a news story? Send it to

Advertise with 1340 AM WBIW
Find more about Weather in Bedford, IN
Advertise with 1340 AM WBIW

1340 AM WBIW, Bedford's Place To Talk. Serving Lawrence and surrounding counties since 1948!

© 2019 Ad-Venture Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved. and Listen Live Powered by HPC

Advertise  |  Careers  |  Contests  |  About  |  Feedback  |  Public File