BIRMINGHAM — Birmingham Police officer Curtis Thornton may be facing additional arson charges, according to prosecutors in a hearing Thursday morning.
Thornton, a Warrior resident who already is charged with two two counts of arson, two counts of attempted arson and one count of criminal mischief for fires near his home, was seeking a reduction in his bond for one additional arson charge in a string of fires in the Ensley area.
Judge Sheldon Watkins reduced that bond from $150,000 to $100,000, but advised Thornton’s grandmother — Sue Thornton, who had already arranged to have her grandson bonded out on the Warrior charges — not to make additional bond arrangements until defense attorneys found out if her grandson would be charged with anything else that might raise the bond amount.
The bond on the original charges totaled $315,000.
Curtis Thornton’s attorney, Brett Hamock, said that he first heard that his client might face additional charges in the hearing, and wouldn’t comment on the judge’s advice to Sue Thornton.
Birmingham Police are investigating more than a dozen suspicious fires in Ensley and surrounding neighborhoods in late May. Curtis Thornton has been charged so far with setting one fire in the 1700 block of Warrior Road on May 21.
Thornton had been an officer with the Birmingham force out of the West Precinct since 2009. He is currently on leave.
Another BPD officer has been charged with arson in another fire that is part of the series. Hamock would not speculate as to whether the charges were related to those of his client, or whether the cases would be prosecuted together or separately.
[Updated at 6:22 p.m. to correct Thornton's current job status.]
Curtis Thornton waived his charges over to the grand jury. Hamock said that the time frame for the grand jury to consider the charges is indefinite, and may depend on any additional charges filed against his client.