On Virginia's Eastern Shore, the mastermind of what police are calling the region's largest crime spree in a generation, has confessed to setting more than 50 of the 77 arson fires that have plagued Accomack County since November.
Charles R. Smith III, 38, was denied bond by a district court judge despite pleas from his attorney that the 52 fires Smith confessed to setting in the past five months were merely property crimes and caused no injuries.
The judge, pointing to the sheer number of fires set, said public safety outweighs all other considerations.
Smith also told authorities that his girlfriend, 40 year old Tonya Bundick, who is also being held without bond, sparked 15 of the fires.
Police arrested Bundick on April 2 during a traffic stop in Melfa after seeing her drop Smith off at an abandoned house and officers watched him set fire to the structure.
As for a motive for their five month arson spree, the former volunteer firefighter told the judge that he was strung out on drugs.