Trial Begins for Va. Eastern Shore Arson Suspect - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Trial Begins for Va. Eastern Shore Arson Suspect

Posted: Updated:
Tonya S. Bundick Tonya S. Bundick

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WBOC/AP)- The first of two trials of a woman charged in a series of fires on Virginia's Eastern Shore got under way Monday in Virginia Beach.

In this week's trial, 41-year-old Tonya S. Bundick of Parksley faces one charge of arson and one count of conspiracy to commit arson in connection with the string of fires that happened between November 2012 and April 2013. 

Eight women and six men were chosen to serve on Bundick's jury, with two of them to serve as alternates. By mid-afternoon, several witnesses were called to the stand to testify, including her fiance and convicted arsonist, Charles Smith.

Smith told the jury about the very first fire back in November 2012 and how he was unsuccessful in lighting it, and said Bundick started that fire.

Smith told police how he initially wanted no part of the crimes but when Bundick was nearly caught setting a fire he said, "I decided to take over and light the fires myself."

When asked about a plan or scheme to the crimes, Smith told the court, "There weren't no pattern" and he continued, "Sometimes we'd do it, sometimes we didnt."

The judge called a recess after the prosecution questioned Smith on Monday.  On Tuesday, the defense will have its chance to question him.

Bundick's trial was moved from Accomack County to Virginia Beach last October. Her lawyer requested the change of venue because of media coverage of the fires. 

In December, a judge refused to move the trial again after Bundick said she was concerned that she would not get a fair trial in Virginia Beach. She said portions of Smith's confession aired on news stations in Hampton Roads.

Bundick faces more than 60 other arson charges in connection with the fires. A second trial will be held on those charges at a later date.

Smith has pleaded guilty to 67 arson counts and a conspiracy charge.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Del. Man Allegedly Cross-dressed to Rob Md. Bank

    Del. Man Allegedly Cross-dressed to Rob Md. Bank

    Friday, July 25 2014 3:13 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:13:03 GMT
    Maryland State Police say a Delaware man held up a bank in Rising Sun while dressed as a woman.More
    Maryland State Police say a Delaware man held up a bank in Rising Sun while dressed as a woman.More
  • Sending Help to Va Tornado Victims

    Sending Help to Va Tornado Victims

    Friday, July 25 2014 1:46 PM EDT2014-07-25 17:46:03 GMT
    In response to Thursday's tragic storm that ripped through the Cherrystone Family Camping and RV Resort, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore is anticipating the continued help needed for those in the community.More
    In response to Thursday's tragic storm that ripped through the Cherrystone Family Camping and RV Resort, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore is anticipating the continued help needed for those in the community.
    More
  • Va. Gov.: Blessing More Didn't Die in Tornado

    Va. Gov.: Blessing More Didn't Die in Tornado

    Friday, July 25 2014 1:33 PM EDT2014-07-25 17:33:49 GMT
    Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says it's a blessing more people didn't die when a tornado swept through a campground on the Eastern Shore that claimed two lives and injured 36 others.
    More
    Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says it's a blessing more people didn't die when a tornado swept through a campground on the Eastern Shore that claimed two lives and injured 36 others.

    More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Feds Send 117 Immigrant Children to Del.

    Feds Send 117 Immigrant Children to Del.

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:19 AM EDT2014-07-25 12:19:28 GMT
    Gov. Jack Markell says 117 children who immigrated alone to the United States have been placed with families in Delaware.More
    Gov. Jack Markell says 117 children who immigrated alone to the United States have been placed with families in Delaware.More
  • Dover Police: Man Arrested with 1,300 Bags of Heroin

    Dover Police: Man Arrested with 1,300 Bags of Heroin

    Friday, July 25 2014 1:02 PM EDT2014-07-25 17:02:39 GMT
    Dover police say officers arrested a Millsboro man after they found 1,300 bags of heroin in his possession Thursday night. More
    Dover police say officers arrested a Millsboro man after they found 1,300 bags of heroin in his possession Thursday night. More
  • Missing Jellyfish in the Chesapeake Bay

    Missing Jellyfish in the Chesapeake Bay

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:12 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:12:56 GMT
    Susan Meredith said if there is one thing she normally does for all the customers renting her boats at Blackwater Paddle and Pedal along the Choptank River in Cambridge, "We send them right up river.  They don't want to see any sea nettles, they are scared to death of them."More
    Susan Meredith said if there is one thing she normally does for all the customers renting her boats at Blackwater Paddle and Pedal along the Choptank River in Cambridge, "We send them right up river.  They don't want to see any sea nettles, they are scared to death of them."More
Powered by WorldNow

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service