New suspect arrested in Thorsby kidnapping case

Published 3:29 pm Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Authorities arrested a third suspect on July 29 in connection with a 2013 Easter Sunday kidnapping incident in Thorsby.

Jonathan Bryant Fuller, 44, of Moulton, was charged with criminal solicitation and first-degree robbery, according to court records.

Fuller was taken to the Chilton County Jail, and was released July 31 on a $175,000 bond.

The crime occurred on March 31, 2013, at the home of Charles Dunlap, who lived off Third Street in Thorsby.

Originally, Scotty Ray Smith, 35, and Panagiotis Jerome Theodoroy, 34, both of Moulton, allegedly broke into Dunlap’s home.

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 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.

The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals ordered Fuller to reinstate the robbery conviction for Theodoroy and to sentence Theodoroy on that conviction.

Presiding Judge Mary Becker Windom signed the order June 24, instructing Fuller to “reinstate” the robbery in the second degree charge, according to court records.

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 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.

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

Jonathan Fuller allegedly “solicited, requested, commanded or importuned” Theodoroy and Smith to “engage in conduct constituting the crime of robbery in the first degree,” the warrant for Fuller’s arrest states.

Chilton County Assistant District Attorney C.J. Robinson told The Moulton Advertiser that Fuller did not physically participate in the crime, but gave Theodoroy and Smith the idea and helped them plan the robbery.

Robinson also told The Moulton Advertiser that Fuller had previously gone to someone else and tried to get him to commit the crime, but was turned down, which led to the solicitation charge.

The Moulton Advertiser reported Fuller ran for a seat on the Lawrence County Commissioner in 2006 and then ran for Moulton mayor in 2012.

Fuller lost both races, according to The Moulton Advertiser.

Fuller owns Fuller Automotive in Moulton.

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.

No additional information was immediately available about Fuller’s arrest.

-Information from The Moulton Advertiser was used in this report.