Judge Approves 62 Separate Trials for Convicted Accomack Arsonis - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Judge Approves 62 Separate Trials for Convicted Accomack Arsonist

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Tonya S. Bundick Tonya S. Bundick
ACCOMACK COUNTY, Va.-  A judge has approved Accomack County arsonist Tonya S. Bundick's request to have 62 separate trials for the additional 62 arson charges filed against her.

Accomack County Commonwealth Attorney Gary Agar had requested all of those 62 additional charges be bundled into one trial. However, a judge recently denied the prosecution's request, clearing the way for 62 separate trials.

The judge's decision was a "victory for the defense," said Bundick's attorney Allan Zaleski.

WBOC spoke with residents of Accomack County who were shocked by the ruling.  Tim Valentine is the owner of the Club Car Cafe in Parksley and a county resident for years.  Valentine couldn't believe the news.

"I am amazed and overwhelmed.  It just seems a terrible waste to me," said Valentine.

And Valentine wasn't alone in his thinking.  Trish Harmon of Wachepreague pointed out all of the money already spent on fighting the fires and catching those responsible and believes 62 trials is an unneeded expense.

 "All of that was more of an expense than needed to be spend on this.  I really think it needs to be one trial and that will be sufficient," Harmon said.

Bundick, of Parksley, was indicted by a grand jury for an arson spree that occurred between November 2012 and April 2013 in Accomack County.

In January, Bundick entered an Alford plea in court for one count of arson and one count of conspiracy to commit arson in connection with an April 2013 fire that occurred in Melfa. A sentencing date for those two charges has not yet been set.

Bundick's fiancé Charlie Smith, who was accused of setting a majority of the 77 fires during the four-month arson spree, pleaded guilty in October 2013 to 67 counts of arson and one count of conspiracy to commit arson. A sentencing date also has not yet been set for him.

Zaleski said the additional 62 trials for Bundick will boil down to Bundick's word going against Smith's word and Zaleski believes Bundick will have a better chance in front of jury on individual counts rather than all her charges being tried together.

There is no date set, as of yet, for Bundick's next trial but Zaleski said he and the Commonwealth Attorney will work to agree on a date as soon as possible and possibly have the trial start in June or July.
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