ACCOMAC, Va. - Charles Smith, the repeat arsonist, made one of his last walks from court back to his jail cell after pleading guilty to 68 counts of arson.
Less than an hour before, he walked into the courtroom with shackled ankles. The whole trial lasting a matter of minutes.
Judge Glen Tyler asked Smith how he wished to plead, to which he responded in three simple words, "guilty, your honor."
"Mr. Smith is very remorseful," said his lawyer, Carl Bundick.
The plea comes months after his arraignment where Smith and his lawyer first pleaded not guilty. But all that changed after the lawyer says he finally received evidence from the state, including copies of interviews conducted by state police on April 1st, the night of Smith and fiance Tonya Bundick's arrest.
"After spending hours and hours and hours reviewing those documents that then changed the tenure of the plea," Carl Bundick said.
Among those videos, Carl Bundick says Smith is seen driving with investigators to arson locations where he was asked if he burnt down the building. That night Smith reportedly admitted his involvement in 52 fires.
Carl Bundick says he hopeful that Smith's "cooperation will be of great benefit to him and there are going to be future opportunities for cooperation that I hope he will take advantage of."
Smith now awaits his fate possibly a maximum sentence of 584 years in prison without the chance of parole.
As for the commonwealth, attorney Gary Agar could only say that, "When I make statements to the our press, it could influence the public and we have another case to present with regard to these fires, so any comments I make could be called in to question."
Smith did not accept a plea deal with the state and the commonwealth didn't offer one, says Carl Bundick.
Judge Tyler delayed sentencing after Smith's lawyer asked for another psychological evaluation. The first one was done back in May to determine his competency to stand trial. This evaluation would be to determine any mitigating circumstances.
The sentencing date has not yet been set, but could possibly be in December, according to Judge Tyler.
But the case isn't closed yet as there are still more charges related to the arson string. On Tuesday, Tonya Bundick's trial was postponed until she was appointed new counsel. We were told at this point she has been granted a new lawyer; however, a new trial date has not been set.