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Cops: Walmart suspects on the way to Georgia | News

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Cops: Walmart suspects on the way to Georgia

UPDATE: Brandon Smith, 27 and Stephanie Rodriguez, 37 waved extradition in Tennessee and are expected to arrive in Georgia Tuesday night. 

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Covington Police say two people accused of fatally running over a woman in a Walmart parking lot could be responsible for up to 10 violent purse thefts.

According to Covington Police, Brandon Smith, 27 and Stephanie Rodriguez, 37 made a living off of stealing purses.


Both Smith and Rodriguez were wanted for killing 65-year-old Marsha Penn Jonson after Smith allegedly backed his car over her when she refused to give up her purse on the night of Nov.16.

Both suspects have criminal records prior to this current string of accused crimes. The two are accused of snatching purses from elderly women from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Police said their current crime spree began in Virginia. On Nov. 11, the two allegedly asked a woman for a ride, and then bound her with duct tape and put her out of her silver Honda Accord. The two used that same vehicle to snatch purses and commit robberies in numerous states. 

The two were arrested Saturday in Manchester, Tenn. after hotel manager Verin Vaidya called police.

Vaidya said the two seemed nervous when they checked in the Rodeway Inn on Wednesday. They kept to themselves, and mostly stayed in their room for the next two days, Vaidya said.

When the two were arrested, a gun was found inside the car. They're being held in a jail in Coffee County, Tenn. as they await extradition to Georgia on felony murder charges.