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Lawrence County Sheriff To Testify In Nathan Baker Murder Trial Today
Updated June 13, 2018 6:39 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(SHOALS) - Lawrence County Sheriff Mike Branham is scheduled to testify this afternoon in the murder trial of 36-year-old Nathan Baker.

nathan baker.jpg

Baker is accused of killing 52-year-old Tom Tharp and 82-year-old Alan Sims, both of Shoals. He is also facing two counts of felony burglary, two counts of felony theft and a felony charge of auto theft.

Martin County deputies discovered Tharp's body after he was reported missing by his family.

At approximately 9:53 a.m. Wednesday, August 26, 2015 Martin County Deputy Kevin McBeth arrived at 8030 Fred Sims Road, north of Dover Hill 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.

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



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