Judge ordered to reinstate robbery conviction in Thorsby kidnapping case

Published 4:21 pm Monday, July 20, 2015

The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals ordered a Chilton County Circuit Court judge to reinstate a robbery conviction of a Moulton man involved in a 2013 Easter Sunday kidnapping incident in Thorsby.

Presiding Judge Mary Becker Windom signed the order June 24, instructing Chilton County Circuit Judge Ben Fuller to “reinstate” Panagiotis Jerome Theodoroy’s conviction for robbery in the second degree and to sentence Theodoroy on that conviction.

An order filed by Fuller on July 18 set Theodoroy’s sentencing hearing for Aug. 25 at 9 a.m. at the Chilton County Courthouse.

A jury trial was originally scheduled for Theodoroy, 34, and Scotty Ray Smith, 35, for July 27 at 8:30 a.m.

A writ of mandamus (a court order telling a government official to do something) was filed on behalf of Theodoroy with the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals regarding the case.

Smith and Theodoroy allegedly broke into the home of 94-year-old Charles Dunlap, who lived on Third Street in Thorsby, on March 31, 2013, and robbed him.

Smith and Theodoroy were scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 10, 2014, after both entered guilty pleas in October 2014 to charges of robbery in the second degree.

In exchange for the guilty pleas to an amended charge of robbery in the second degree, prosecutors agreed to dismiss four counts, including three counts of kidnapping in the second degree and one count of robbery in the first degree for both Smith and Theodoroy.

After hearing Donna Henderson, one of the victims involved in the case, testify during the sentencing, Fuller refused to “impose the sentence agreed upon by and between” Smith and Theodoroy and the state Alabama, according to court records.

Fuller also rejected the plea agreement and re-instated the original charges listed on the indictment filed by a February 2014 grand jury in Chilton County.

Fuller also increased the bond for both men to the original amount of $540,000 each, according to court records.

Henderson spoke in court Dec. 10, 2014, about stopping by Dunlap’s home with her husband, Tim, to check on the elderly man who was terminally ill with cancer.

The visit happened during the robbery, she testified.

The three victims were then held at gunpoint with the two men tied up, and Donna Henderson was forced to go to her home on Jones Street to give the men money.

She was later dropped off in a rural area of Calera.

Henderson was able to return to Dunlap’s home and locate both Tim Henderson and Dunlap, who had not been seriously injured.

Dunlap passed away several weeks later, after the crime occurred.

Court records indicate Smith has a plea date scheduled on Oct. 14 at 8:30 a.m. at the Chilton County Courthouse.