Pictured: Charles Smith(left) and Tonya Bundick(right).
By Linda Cicoira
The famous Accomack County arsonist, who kept local folks glued to their scanners in late 2012 and early 2013 to hear 9-1-1 dispatchers send firefighters and police officers to the next inferno, was reportedly released from prison Tuesday.
Forty-eight-year-old Charles Robert Smith III, also known as Charlie Applegate, admitted to deliberately setting 67 buildings on fire. He also testified against his former fiancée, 50-year-old Tonya Susan Bundick, in connection with the blazes.
The spree frightened many Eastern Shore residents. Smith was a former volunteer firefighter and owned a Tasley auto body shop.
The couple were stopped fleeing from a crime scene in Melfa. All the fires that occurred during that period caused about $2 million in damages. No one was injured. Smith’s Facebook page stated that he would be released to a halfway house in Roanoke. He has been serving time in the Wise Correctional Unit in Coeburn, which is in western Virginia.
Bundick’s release date is in September 2025.
A documentary on the spree is currently being made on the Eastern Shore with an all Eastern Shore volunteer cast.