Eastern Shore arson spree suspect pleads not guilty

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by 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on August 5, 2013 at 6:11 AM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 17 at 6:01 AM

UPDATE: Charles Smith III was arraigned in Circuit Court Monday on 68 counts of arson.  Smith pleaded not guilty and waived a trial by jury.  He will instead be tried by a judge.  A trial date has not yet been set.

ACCOMACK CO.-Two people accused of setting fires on the Eastern Shore were indicted August 5, according to Commonwealth's Attorney Gary R. Agar.

Charles Smith III was indicted on 67 counts of arson and one count of conspiracy to commit arson. Tonya Bundick was indicted on two counts of arson.

Investigators say Bundick and Smith torched the majority of the 77 vacant buildings that burned down during a five-month arson spree.

A search warrant revealed Smith admitted the pair set 52 of the fires.

They're each charged with one count each of arson and conspiracy to commit arson in connection with the April 2 fire at an abandoned structure in Melfa.

Smith and Bundick were caught April 2 by Virginia State Troopers. One wore night-vision goggles and notified other officers who were camped out near the abandoned building on Airport Road.  A sheriff's deputy stopped a van as it left the scene and arrested the couple.

 

 

 

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