Accomack County Residents React to Charles Smith Pleading Guilty - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Accomack Firefighters, Residents React to Charles Smith Pleading Guilty

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PARKSLEY, Va.-Many people were talking about Charles R. Smith's decision to plead guilty to arson and conspiracy charges in connection with an Eastern Shore of Virginia arson spree.

Smith appeared in court in Accomack County on Thursday where he pleaded guilty to 67 counts of arson and one count of conspiracy to commit arson. Some people whom WBOC spoke with said that Smith should spend a long time behind bars.

Seth Matthews said that he his pack of the self dubbed 'Arson Hunters' were on their toes hunting for the Accomack arsonist who carried the acts for nearly five months.
It's the kind of news Matthews said that he was hoping for. 

"He deserves everything that he gets for putting everybody through what he did."

Smith said that back when the arsons were happening he and the group took it upon themselves to solve the mystery. 

"It was a gang that was just sick and tired every night and sick and tired of things getting destroyed unnecessarily so we banded together to raise awareness and keep an eye out for things," said Matthews.

Robin Pruitt said that she was still coming to grips with the news that one of the arsonists was just another member of the community. 

"Unfortunately it was someone that we all knew," Pruitt said, "I hope that once his sentence happens he gets the help that he needs."

Firefighters, some of whom spent many nights away from home battling the fires set by Smith say they're happy to finally put this all behind them.

"I think everyone here is glad," said Jim Myers, referring to the Parksley Volunteer Fire Company. "I think we're all just happy this is just about over with."

Myers hopes Smith spends most of the rest of his life behind bars.

"60 years," said Myers.

Matthews said that he hopes Smith receives a sentence that is long enough to prove that justice is served.

"I think he deserves close to the maximum sentence," he said.



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