Local News

Couple Charged in Winston-Salem Killings

Posted April 25, 2008 10:16 p.m. EDT
Updated April 28, 2008 11:15 a.m. EDT

— A couple was charged Friday in the killings of a Meals on Wheels volunteer and her client.

Timothy Hartford Jr., 38, and Ashley Smith, 26, whose last known address was in Kernersville, were each charged with two counts of murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.

The charges are related to the Thursday shooting deaths of Edith Anne Magness, 77, of 6801 Whitby Court, Clemmons, and Robert Wayne Denning, 64, of 1105 Jonestown Road in Winston-Salem.

Magness’ husband, William Craig Magness, 79, was wounded in the shooting. He was listed in good condition at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Magness, a Meals on Wheels volunteer, was serving lunch to Denning at his residence at the time of the shooting.

Denning’s sister, Judy McCurdy, of Chapel Hill, said the Meals on Wheels program provided great comfort to her brother.

On Friday, McCurdy described her younger brother as a “quiet, gentle” person who loved cooking, woodworking and gardening.

“I just don’t see how somebody could have done this to a crippled man with a stroke, who didn’t ask for much,” she said.

Hartford and Smith surrendered Friday after a five-hour standoff in a Virgina shopping mall parking garage, police said.

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.

Hartford and Smith were held being Friday in the Norfolk Jail awaiting extradition to North Carolina.