Warrant: Murder suspects confessed to SC authorities to killing woman
By Shavonne Walker
SALISBURY — Just three days after Amanda Kay Smith’s partially burned body was found in a ditch along Leonard Road, the pair charged in her death confessed to killing her while in the custody of South Carolina authorities, a search warrant said.
Stephanie Hall and boyfriend Timothy Clarence Smith, both 30, are each charged with first-degree murder, second-degree arson and felony robbery. Rowan authorities say they took $400 in cash and bank cards from the victim, dumped her burned body in a ditch, then returned to her mobile home and set it on fire.
Timothy Smith and the victim are not related, officials have said.
Both Hall and Smith remain in the Rowan County Detention Center under no bond. Detectives say the couple was seen with Amanda Smith before she was killed. Her 6-year-old son, Gatlin, had been staying with relatives. The search warrant said Lt. Chad Moose with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office met with Amanda Smith’s family, who said her sister met her around 9 p.m. the night before she was killed.
Smith met her family at a Faith Road home to drop off her child to stay with relatives in Lenoir. A family member said they saw Amanda Smith with Hall and Smith, who was driving a white Ford Explorer with a broken back window.
The warrant, which was filed earlier this week, also includes details about the vehicle Timothy Smith and Hall used to transport the dead body of Amanda Smith.
Amanda Smith, 33, was found by a passerby. Her nude body was in a ditch in the 3000 block of Leonard Road. She had trauma to her head and was murdered in the early morning hours of June 17, the warrant said.
Smith’s head and shoulders were badly burned, but investigators were tentatively able to identify her through tattoos. While investigators were working to determine Smith’s identity, area firefighters responded to her Honeysuckle Lane home where a fire was reported.
The warrant said Timothy Smith and Stephanie Hall admitted to using Hall’s 1999 Ford Explorer to transport Amanda Smith’s body. The pair left the vehicle at Magic Mart and stole a vehicle, which they subsequently wrecked in Horry County, S.C.
A list of items found in the Explorer included receipts from Food Lion, McDonald’s and a soda shop, as well as a phone card. Investigators also collected DNA swabs taken from the car.
Timothy Smith and Stephanie Hall made their first court appearances late last week, and both have been indicted this week on first-degree murder and other related charges.
Stephanie Hall also faces earlier charges connected to the theft and forgery of her grandmother’s checks.
Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.
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