A man and woman were arrested Saturday in Manchester, Tenn., in connection with a Walmart murder in Covington, Ga., after a citizen tipped the local media.
Manchester Police arrested Brandon Shawn Smith, 27, of Virginia, and Stephanie Marie Rodriguez, 37, of New Mexico and charged them in connection with the murder of Marsha Johnson, 65, of Covington.
“If it hadn’t been for the tireless work of the police department and other law enforcement agencies, and the media, we wouldn’t have apprehended these suspects in Tennessee,” said Capt. Craig Treadwell. “I also want to remember the Johnson family.”
Manchester police arrested Smith and Rodriguez, who were driving the 2002 silver Accord used in last Monday's incident.
Marsha Johnson, 65, of Covington, was leaving the Walmart on Industrial Blvd around 7:45 p.m. Nov. 16, Smith allegedly approached her and grabbed her purse.
Johnson fought back, pulling on her purse, according to Capt. Ken Malcom. The victim was then dragged away from her car and into the path of the rear of his car where she was struck and kicked.
“The driver, in this case the perpetrator, got in his vehicle and backed over the victim,” Malcom said.
“We’re still processing the evidence we have, and getting and executing search warrants to bring the car back to the crime lab here,” Treadwell said. “Hopefully, tomorrow, our district attorney will be working with Tennessee to have the suspects extradited back to Georgia.”
Treadwell said police feel “the suspects are responsible for at least 10 violent purse snatchings in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia. They targeted Walmarts and elderly female victims walking to their car, day or night.”