Tennessee’s James Walker accused of burning down Christmas tree including presents


This thieving Grinch tried to light up Christmas.

A Tennessee man – whose heart was perhaps two sizes too small – played the role of holiday villain on Sunday when he burned down a family’s Christmas tree and a child’s presents underneath, authorities said.

James Walker, 25, allegedly stole items from an apartment and stuffed them into his car before heartlessly throwing a child’s blanket over the tree and setting it on fire, Dyersburg Police said in a Facebook post.

Responders saw a window open to vent the fire and the home’s smoke detector was covered, police said.

Tennessee’s James Walker is accused of burning down a Christmas tree early Sunday.
Dyersburg Police Department
The charred presents have been replaced with new ones.
The charred presents have been replaced with new ones.
Dyersburg Police Department

The victim was not home at the time of the fire, just after midnight, but later told police the suspect was an acquaintance. The victim told officers earlier that day that authorities said she and her brother got into an altercation with Walker.

Walker was arrested by police officers after a brief foot chase, authorities said. The charges against him include aggravated burglary, aggravated arson, resisting arrest and being intoxicated in public.

Dyersburg Police Department — through its outreach program — is also helping the affected household by replacing the child’s destroyed gifts and even contributing a few extra toys ahead of Christmas Day, the department said.

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