Teenager extradited to Georgia from Kentucky to face murder, arson charges

Candace Walton

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Candace Walton

A 16-year-old girl is back in Georgia after being charged in the deaths of her mother and brother, whose bodies were found in the family’s burning house last month.

Candace Walton was arrested in Kentucky and fought extradition back to Monroe County, but she lost that legal battle last week, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said. She made her first court appearance Wednesday afternoon and was charged with two counts of felony murder as a result of first-degree arson.

The bodies of Tasha Vandiver, 46, and Gerald Walton, 21, were discovered shortly after firefighters arrived at the family’s house off Old Zebulon Road about 3:30 a.m. Feb. 27, AJC.com previously reported. Half of the structure was engulfed in flames when they arrived.

RELATED: Bodies found in Georgia house fire ID'd as mother, brother of teen accused of arson

Candace Walton was found by Kentucky deputies near Paducah, which is more than 450 miles from Monroe County. Authorities pulled her over in her mother’s stolen car, leading to her arrest.

MORE: 16-year-old faces murder, arson charges after Middle Georgia house fire kills 2

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Tasha Vandiver 

Credit: Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Tasha Vandiver 

Credit: Monroe County Sheriff's Office

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Tasha Vandiver 

Credit: Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Monroe County Sheriff's Office

She was stopped because the vehicle had been marked as stolen or in danger. Because of the “suspicious nature of the incident,” Candace Walton was taken into custody, allowing Monroe County deputies to visit and interview her in jail.

In order to bring Walton back to Georgia, the sheriff's office had to obtain a governor's warrant, which she was forced to sign Friday.

RELATED: Georgia teen accused in fatal house fire fights extradition from Kentucky

The Wednesday court hearing was closed to the public. The Towaliga Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, which oversees Monroe, Butts and Lamar counties, will be prosecuting the case.

The sheriff’s office said it will file more charges against her.

In other news:

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As the first officer arrived, authorities said the suspect fired at him, grazing him in the head.