Jury Finds Bundick Guilty of Arson - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Jury Finds Bundick Guilty of Arson

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Tonya S. Bundick Tonya S. Bundick

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.- Convicted Accomack County arsonist Tonya Bundick has been found guilty in her latest trial.

 Bundick was convicted Tuesday on one count of arson, in the first of a possible total of 62 individual trials. 

Bundick faces numerous charges in connection with an Accomack County arson spree that happened from November 2012 to April 2013. Tuesday's arson conviction was not her first, however. In January, she entered an Alford plea for one count of arson and count of conspiracy to commit arson in connection with an April 2013 fire that occurred in Melfa.

Two witnesses took the stand Tuesday for Bundick, who is on trial in connection with a fire that was set on March 3, 2013 in Accomack County. The first witness for the defense was William Ashcraft, who was the cellmate of Bundick's fiancé Charles R. Smith.

Ashcraft said Smith told him while they were in jail together that he took the reflectors off Bundick's son's bicycle and would ride it to set a fire. Smith would then easily be able to hide the bicycle in the woods, Ashcraft claimed. Ashcraft's testimony implied that Smith acted alone.

The prosecution on Tuesday was not allowed to bring up in front of the jury Bundick's prior conviction from January, when she entered an Alford plea to arson and conspiracy stemming from an April 2013 fire in Melfa . Court watchers said that not being able to bring up Bundick's conviction hurt the prosecution's case.

Then Bundick herself got on the stand and reiterated her claims that it was Smith who set March 3, 2013 fire and she didn't have anything to do with it.

She denied ever coaching Smith about what to say to police if he was arrested, and acknowledged they talked about marriage both before and after the arrest. However, she denied it was for legal purposes so one spouse would not have to testify against the other.

On Monday, Smith told the jury all of the fires, including the one this trial is for, on March 3 of last year, were Bundick's idea.

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.


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