IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Suspects arrested in Meals on Wheels killings

/ Source: The Associated Press

A couple sought in the slayings of a Meals on Wheels volunteer and her client surrendered Friday after a five-hour standoff in a shopping mall parking garage, state police said.

Timothy Hartford Jr., 38, and Ashley Smith, 26, are suspects in the Thursday shooting deaths of a man and woman in Winston-Salem, N.C., police said. The victims were a 77-year-old Meals on Wheels volunteer and a man she was serving lunch. Another volunteer, the dead woman's husband, was wounded.

The suspects' 1-month-old son was with them during the chase and ensuing standoff and was taken into the custody of child protective services. He was not injured, Virginia State Police Sgt. Michelle Cotten said.

A state police officer saw Hartford and Smith's vehicle in Suffolk at about 2 a.m. Friday and attempted to stop it. Smith drove on and police pursued the vehicle into Norfolk and used road spikes to shred its tires, officials said.

The couple pulled into a shopping mall parking garage and were negotiating with police, but didn't surrender until about five hours later.

"There was a continuous conversation," Cotten said. Hartford and Smith were held Friday in the Norfolk Jail awaiting extradition to North Carolina.

Cotten did not know if the couple had been assigned an attorney.

The victims were identified as Anne Magness, 77, a Meals on Wheels volunteer, and Bob Denning, 64. Magness' husband, Bill Magness, 78, also was shot but in good condition Thursday night at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Winston-Salem police said there was no indication the victims knew their attackers. Police believe Denning was shot inside his home and the Magnesses on the front porch.