Murder suspects Timothy Smith, Stephanie Hall appear in court, receive attorneys

Published 11:33 am Friday, June 24, 2016

By Shavonne Walker

SALISBURY — The two people charged in the June 17 murder of Amanda Kay Smith had their first appearance in court this morning, saying little but to answer District Court Judge Charlie Brown’s questions.

Smith’s partially burned body was found off Leonard Road the same day that her mobile home at 245 Honeysuckle Lane was set on fire.

Stephanie Dawn Hall and Timothy Smith, both 30, face felony murder, arson and robbery charges in the death of Amanda Smith.

Attorney Rick Locklear was appointed as Hall’s provisional representation, and Doug Smith was appointed to represent Timothy Smith.

Amanda Smith, 33, lived in the mobile home with her 6-year-old son, Gatlin, who was staying with a relative at the time of the fire and murder. Investigators said she had been seen with Hall and Hall’s boyfriend, Timothy Smith, before the murder.

Officials say Timothy Smith and Amanda Smith are not related.

A probable cause hearing is scheduled for July 13.

Rowan District Attorney Brandy Cook stipulated that the two suspects have no contact with the victim’s family, indirectly or through any third party.

Amanda Smith’s death was discovered when a motorist spotted something suspicious near Leonard Road on June 17 and called 911. Rowan County Sheriff’s investigators found her body in a wooded area there.

Timothy Smith and Hall were developed as suspects and were arrested in Horry County, S.C. Both are being held in the Rowan County Detention Center, without bond.

Hall also faces earlier charges connected to the theft and forgery of her grandmother’s checks. Rowan County detectives said $600 worth of checks were forged from May to June. Her grandmother said Hall was not authorized to write or cash checks on her account.

Hall’s sister, Jessica Hall Hagerman, told authorities her sister stole their grandmother’s checks and she believed Stephanie was involved in the sale of drugs.

Timothy Smith has a history of assault and burning buildings as well as convictions for felony burglary, robbery and breaking and entering.

Earlier this month, he appeared in district court regarding assault on a female, communicating threats and domestic criminal trespass charges stemming from a December 2015 incident. He pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charges and was found guilty. He gave notice of an appeal and the case was bound over to Superior Court.

Hall has two prior convictions from 2009 for misdemeanor larceny and felony obtaining controlled substances by fraud.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.