COVINGTON, Ga. - Two people accused in a deadly purse-snatching earlier this week at a Walmart in Covington, are being transferred back to Georgia Tuesday afternoon, after waiving extradition in Tennessee where they were arrested Saturday.
Covington Police Captain Craig Treadwell said authorities captured Brandon Shawn Smith, 27, and Stephanie Marie Rodriguez, 37, during a traffic stop Saturday afternoon in Manchester, TN. They are being transported to the Newton County Detention Center.
Police believe this isn’t the first time the people connected have hurt someone during a robbery. In fact, Treadwell said the duo may have been involved in at least 10 violent purse-snatchings in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida and Virginia. He said the two were driving a car they stole from a woman in Virginia, where he believes the crime spree started weeks ago.
Marsha Johnson, 65, was the victim in the Walmart incident on Industrial Way. Police said Smith and Rodriguez stole Johnson's purse then ran over her with their car.
In another incident, police released surveillance video that reportedly caught the pair using a stolen credit card at a Walmart in South Carolina on November 12. Authorities said the pair robbed a woman at gunpoint at a nearby Family Dollar to get the card.
Johnson's family spoke with FOX 5 Sunday about the arrests.
They said they're grateful for the public's help in tracking down Smith and Rodriguez.
Treadwell said the two should be extradited to Georgia this upcoming week.
Johnson's niece Jamie Stowe organized Monday night's vigil for her aunt. She said the women shared a special bond. "And I'm truly grateful for that and I was blessed to have her a part of my life."
With the suspects behind bars Stowe says the family can now move forward.
Jamie Stowe, victim's niece said, "Now is the time to come together and celebrate the wonderful person she is."
Community Remembers woman killed at Walmart
Marsha Johnson will be remembered as many things--a friend, a confidante and a grandmother. The 65-year-old was remembered at a candlelight vigil Monday night in the parking lot of the Covington Walmart where she was killed last week.
Investigators said Johnson was run over by two alleged purse-snatchers as they tried to escape. Brandon Smith and Stephanie Rodriguez were arrested in Tennessee on Saturday and have been charged with Johnson's murder.
Near the spot where she died, her friends and family gathered to light candles and mourn her loss. Many people came from far away, including several who had no personal connection to Johnson, saying they just wanted to come and pay their respects.
Smith and Rodriguez remain behind bars in Tennessee. Both will be extradited to Georgia later this week, but authorities have not said when. Both are suspected in a string of crimes which occurred across four states.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help pay for memorial expenses.