NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A jury took less than two hours to find a man guilty in the death of a homeless man who was beaten and set on fire.
Officials said 33-year-old Justin Blankenbaker was found guilty of first degree premeditated murder, arson, and abuse of a corpse for the murder that happened on February 7, 2016.
Horace Horton was killed at a homeless camp off Davidson Street near Shelby Park.
Authorities said the case was gruesome and explained Blankenbaker reportedly used steel-toed boots to kick the victim during a fight. He then allegedly struck Horton with a cinder block and set his body on fire, causing his death.
“This case proves that the sanctity of life is sacred, no matter what the circumstances one may be facing,” said Assistant District Attorney Megan King. “Horace Horton did not deserve to die, and a jury has made it clear that Mr. Blankenbaker will now face the consequences of his actions.”
Blankenbaker has been scheduled to be sentenced December 5.