published Monday, June 16th, 2014

Suspect arrested in ‘candy lady’ killing

A week after a mother of five was shot to death in Chattanooga, the man police suspect of killing her was captured in Mississippi.

Cashman Perkins, 31, had been declared one of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s “most wanted,” and he was described as armed and dangerous.

He was captured in Columbus, Miss., about 1 a.m. Sunday by U.S. Marshals with the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force.

Frances “Prin Prin” Smith was shot to death around 5 a.m. June 8 in her home on Woodland View Circle in Emma Wheeler Homes public housing.

Neighbors described Perkins as Smith’s live-in boyfriend.

Emma Wheeler Homes residents and friends say they are glad police captured Perkins, but they are still mourning the death of their friend and sister.

Smith, 40, was a counselor and willing ear to women in the community and a mother figure to some of the children. Children called her the “candy lady” because she sold frozen treats and candy.

“She was there for me,” Leslie Cross said after the killing. “She never judged me. She always told me she loved me.”

As Smith’s family and friends plan for her visitation today and burial on Tuesday, Perkins is being held in Mississippi, awaiting extradition to Tennessee.

Contact staff writer Yolanda Putman at yputman@timesfreepress.com.

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