Shoplifting suspect killed after husband runs over wife with U-Haul

Published 1:39 pm Thursday, January 16, 2020

A shoplifting suspect was killed when she was run over by her husband as the two fled police officers from an Alabama Walmart last weekend.

Oneonta police were dispatched to a Blount County Walmart for a shoplifting in progress shortly before 8 p.m. Chief Charles Clifton told local media the couple had been loading items into a cart for a lengthy period of time and had been watched on camera.

After gathering about $1,500 worth of goods in their cart, Clifton said the couple left the store without paying and headed to a U-Haul they had stationed in the parking lot. Before they could fully load the items into the truck, they spotted police arriving at the scene and took off.

An Alabama Law Enforcement Agency state trooper spotted the truck and tried to stop it on Alabama Highway 75 north of Oneonta, said Senior Trooper Chuck Daniel. Daniel said the trooper was not in pursuit of the vehicle at any point during the incident.

Jimmy Russell Smith, 32, was attempting to pull the U-Haul over on the shoulder when Crystal Lynn Carlson, 34, tried to exit the slow-moving vehicle, Daniel said.

Carlson fell underneath the vehicle and was killed.

Smith has been charged with second-degree theft of property/shoplifting.

Daniel said ALEA is the lead agency on the post-incident investigation. The case could be presented to a grand jury for any potential additional charges against Smith.