Teen accused of lighting 85-year-old on fire, killing him

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama teenager is charged in the slaying of an 85-year-old war veteran who was doused with gasoline and set on fire.

Birmingham police spokesman Lt. Sean Edwards said in a statement Thursday that 18-year-old Thomas Sims was arrested and charged with capital murder in Gene Dacus's death.

Police said Dacus and the suspect had some type of encounter Wednesday, when witnesses reported a fire in a backyard and saw the suspect running down an alley with a red gas jug.

Dacus was found severely burned lying on the ground in the backyard and pronounced dead at the scene. The suspect was captured nearby.

Authorities say the capital murder charge stems from the theft of Dacus's truck. They're still looking for a second suspect.

It's unclear if Sims has an attorney.

Dacus served in the US Army during the Korean conflict.

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