WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Serial Arsonist Pleads Guilty To String Of Fires In Accomack County

The Whispering Pines Motel was one of many targets razed by the accused serial arsonist.
The Whispering Pines Motel was one of many targets razed by the accused serial arsonist.

A former volunteer firefighter on Virginia's Eastern Shore has pleaded guilty to 68 counts of arson.

Charles R. Smith III faces up to 584 years in prison and more than $5 million in fines for setting 68 arson fires in Accomack County, Va.

The string of intentionally set late-night fires targeted mostly abandoned and dilapidated buildings. They took place over a 142-day period beginning last November and flummoxed police investigators from all over the state.

Smith's fiancé, Tonya Bundick, who was arrested alongside Smith on April 1, had her day in court delayed because her attorney has bowed out of the case.

She faces one count of arson and one count of conspiracy to commit arson.

Smith could be sentenced as early as December.


'It's A Surviving Tool': 'Native' Tells Satirical Stories Of Life In Israel

NPR's Kelly McEvers talks to author Sayed Kashua, an Israeli-Palestinian whose satirical weekly columns in Haaretz newspaper are collected in his new book called Native.

Chipotle's Food-Safety Woes? Don't Expect Sympathy From Rest Of Industry

Chipotle has scorned some mainstream farming practices, like GMOs and antibiotics. Now the fast-casual chain is taking hits over food safety, and past targets of its attacks are taking revenge.

In Trump's German Ancestral Village, The Locals Are Not Impressed

"Ich bin ein Kallstadter," Donald Trump likes to say. But many of the villagers are more proud of other famous American descendants with links to Kallstadt: the Heinz family, of ketchup fame.

Colonialism Comment Puts Facebook Under Scrutiny

A Facebook board member lambasted a decision by regulators in India, the social network's second-largest market. He thereby sparked new scrutiny of Facebook's intentions in that country.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.