A 19-year-old Alabama man has been indicted for lighting an 85-year-old Korean War veteran on fire. Thomas Sims stabbed his elderly neighbor, doused him in gasoline, and light him on fire on August 17, 2016. He then stole the veteran’s wallet and and his pickup truck. Sims is being charged with capital murder after being indicted on February 10, 2017, according to records made public Wednesday.
Birmingham police were called to Gene Dacus’ home at about 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday August 17, after receiving calls about a person on fire. When police arrived on the scene, they found Dacus burned in the back of his home. Witnesses that reported the fire in Dacus’ backyard told investigators they saw Sims running down an alley with a gasoline jug. Sims was arrested near the scene of the crime while driving the stolen truck.
Sims was arrested just seven months before the murder. He was in possession of a 2013 Toyota RAV that had been stolen during a Jan. 14 carjacking. Sims has been jailed without bond since August 2016. A court date for the murder of Dacus has not yet been set.