Penney's stabbing, shoplifting suspect is parolee for auto theft
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Chattanooga Police would have plenty of leads to name 30-year-old Andrew Morgan Hall as the shoplifting suspect who stabbed two loss prevention specialists outside the JC Penney store in Hamilton Place Mall Thursday night.
They began with surveillance pictures. Investigators maintain that they show Hall picking up four to five pairs of house-brand blue jeans, and trying to walk out without paying for them.
But police aren't letting us see the rest of the video, which, they claim, shows Hall leaving the store with those men in pursuit. "He (Hall) is confronted...(and) runs outside where he engages in an altercation," the Complaint Affidavit reads.
"You can see one of the loss prevention specialists fall away...(and) the second...running away," the affidavit continues.
Hall's arrest affidavit alleges that he stabbed Penney's employee Keith Langley in his left abdomen, and cut employee Heath Hoskins on his right arm and right leg.
Does JC Penney allow loss prevention specialists to carry any form of protection, up to and including firearms? Does corporate policy permit such officers to pursue shoplifting suspects outside the store?
Store Manager Marty Smith has referred all media inquiries to Media Relations Manager Joey Thomas, at Penney's corporate offices in Plano, Texas, a suburb of Dallas.
Hall faces two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault and theft of property.
Investigators had a license plate number for the vehicle that, they believe, the suspect used as his getaway car. But they're not saying what other information led them to Andrew Morgan Hall.
"Doesn't live here man," says the man who answers the door, when an Eyewitness News crew knocks at the door of the North Chattanooga duplex that Hall lists as his home address.
"Ever see him, ever hear of him," our crew asks.
"No idea," the man responds.
Georgia court records show that Hall has left more than a trail. He received seven years of probation for stealing a car in Rossville in 2003. A violation in 2006 sent him to the Mitchell County Correctional Institution for 15 months before he was paroled in 2008.
Court sources tell Channel 3 that a first-offense of shoplifting likely would net an offender a warning citation, an order to pay restitution, and a ban on patronizing the store victimized. But incurred in addition to a prior conviction, the offense could be enough to return the defendant to prison to serve the balance of his/her sentence.
Hall is being held in the Hamilton County Jail in lieu of $400,000 bond. He's due in court Friday, February 1. He has declined Channel 3's request for an interview.
Langley has been unreachable.
Last Friday, Hoskins had recovered sufficiently to post a thank you to police and first responders, and to request prayers.
"As of now (Keith Langley's surgery went well but has a road to travel on recovery (sic) and as of myself I'm at home now a bit sore but ok, " Hoskins' post reads.
"Please keep the prayers coming as this was a very very close call."
Hoskins' posted again Saturday, upon learning of Hall's capture.
"They have him in custody," it reads. "Thank you for your (sic) non-stop work and help everyone, and thank you, Lord for these Great and Fine Outstanding officers!"
Hoskins has asked that Channel 3 not contact him nor his family, so that he may recover in privacy. Eyewitness News is honoring that request.