Eastern Shore arson trial moving to Virginia Beach
Accomack, Va. (WTKR) – The trial for one of the Eastern Shore arson suspects is moving to Virginia Beach.
Judge Glen Tyler approved the change of venue request for Tonya Bundick in Accomack Circuit Court Tuesday.
Virginia State Police have said that Bundick and her fiancee and co-defendant Charles Smith are responsible for the majority of the 70-plus fires set in Accomack County between November 2012 and April 2013.
Bundick is currently only facing one count of arson and one count of conspiracy to commit arson for a fire that occurred on Airport Drive in Melfa in early April.
Smith recently pleaded not guilty to the 68 charges he’s facing in connection to the arson spree.
Tuesday’s court appearance was the first Bundick has made since posting bond and leaving jail last month. She had been in jail since her arrest in early April.
In court, Bundick’s attorney Shannon Dunham presented a stack of newspapers and Internet print-outs about the arson cases as evidence of the wide-spread attention the fires have received.
Judge Tyler though pointed to several other factors when making his decision to move the trial.
Those factors included the small population of Accomack County, the number of people affected by the fires either directly or indirectly and the disparity between the number of charges Bundick faces versus how many Smith is facing.
Bundick will face a jury trial when the case moves to Virginia Beach, though a date hasn’t been confirmed yet.
Smith is still scheduled to have a bench trial in Accomack County in December.