Woman, 85, assaulted while leaving Columbia church

Myrtle Hannah

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WKRN) – An 85-year-old woman was assaulted while leaving church on Sunday in Columbia.

Myrtle Hannah is now recovering after being struck in the face and losing consciousness outside Bellafant Tabernacle on Whatley Street.

Mary Jean Hill
Mary Jean Hill

According to a police report, Hannah and her estranged daughter-in-law, Mary Jean Hill, were involved in a confrontation over her grandchildren.

Investigators said Hannah’s 12-year-old grandson began crying because he wanted to go home with her.

Hill’s boyfriend then called her to come to the church because her son was acting “unruly.”

According to the report, Hannah told the boyfriend that she didn’t appreciate seeing her grandchildren mistreated and threatened to call the Department of Children’s Services if necessary.

Hannah was sitting on a bench outside of church when Hill arrived and struck her with a closed fist near her eye, causing the elderly woman to fall to the ground, according to police.

Witnesses said Hannah was unconscious for a few minutes.

She sustained a laceration to her eye brow and was transported to Maury Regional Medical Center.
She was released later that day.

Columbia police were called to the church, but Hill had already left the scene.

Officers eventually made contact with Hill, 38, and she was arrested and charged with domestic simple assault.

She has since been released on bond.

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