accomack county

police photo

With the opening statements in the trial of Tonya Bundick who faces one count of arson the judge told the attorneys he could not yet grant or deny a motion that would allow evidence of other fires.

The charge is being referred to by law enforcement as count 52 which refers to a fire that took place on March 3rd of last year.

That blaze destroyed a labor camp near Keller owned by Richard Hall III and was one of more than 70 arson reported in Accomack County between November of 2012 and April of last year.

police photo

Tonya Bundick could get separate trials on 62 counts of arson.

A judge signed the order on Friday saying that the offenses are not based on the same act or transaction and therefore do not constitute a common scheme. 

But that does not mean that there will be 62 separate trials since the prosecutors and defense attorneys have not agreed on whether any might be tried together.

police photo

Tonya Bundick will get a change of venue for her trial on 62 counts of arson for a series of blazes that struck Accomack County in late 2012 and early 2013.

If she goes to trial the judge said her case would be moved to Virginia Beach.

But the judge did not make a decision on Bundick’s request for separate trials on each of the 62 counts.

The judge said that he wanted to reread testimony by her fiance' Charles Smith, a co-defendant during her last trial.

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A mobile food pantry serving Virginia's Eastern Shore has received a $10,000 grant from the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation.

The gift to the Mobile Pantry Program run by the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore was announced Tuesday. Perdue Farms is also generating 20,000 pounds of products.

The combined contribution will enable the food bank to distribute nearly 40,000 meals to children, seniors and families in Northampton and Accomack counties.

police photo

The April 10th trial date for accused arsonist Tonya Bundick has been continued.

She waived her right to a speedy trial on 62 counts of arson.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports a date has Not been set.

She did enter an Alford plea in January on two other counts related to an April 1st arson in 2013 in Melfa which means she did not admit guilt but accepted there was enough evidence to convict.

That was the last of the arsons in a string of more than 70 in Accomack County.

police mug shot

A two day trial is set to begin today for Tonya Bundick who faces two counts involving arson for the fires set at abandoned buildings in Accomack County in late 2012 and early 2013.

In addition, Bundick will also face another 64 counts at a second trial.

Her fiancé Charles Smith has already pleaded guilty to 67 arson charges and potentially faces 500 years in prison.

Smith says in a videotaped confession to police that he set the fires for Bundick because he was in love with her.

Virginia State Police mugshot

There are new details about the fires among the 62 new arson charges handed down by a grand jury against Tonya Bundick in Accomack County.

The indictment said she played a role in setting the very first fire on November 12th in Parksley.

WBOC reports that other fires included the blaze at the Leatherbury United Methodist Church and the Whispering Pines Motel.

During an interrogation by police her fiancé Charles Smith said that the fires were originally Bundick’s idea.

Virginia Police Mug Shot

ACCOMAC, Va. (AP) - A woman accused of setting fires to abandoned structures on Virginia's Eastern Shore is facing new arson charges.

Media outlets report that an Accomack County grand jury indicted Tonya Bundick of Parksley on 62 arson counts on Monday.

Bundick was indicted earlier this year on one arson count and one conspiracy count.

Her boyfriend, former volunteer firefighter Charles Smith III, pleaded guilty in October to 67 arson counts and one conspiracy count.

The charges stem from a string of fires in 2012 and 2013.

Virginia State Police

Charles Smith says he set the fires in a series of arsons in Accomack County from November of last year to April of this year out of love for his fiancé.

Smith and Tonya Bundick were arrested April 2nd .

Since then Smith has pleaded guilty to 67 arson counts and one count of conspiracy to commit arson.

police photo

The judge in the trial of Tonya Bundick charged in connection with the string of arson fires in Accomack County earlier this year has allowed her attorneys to withdraw from the case.

The lawyers will remain as counsel until the court can appoint a new attorney.

WBOC reports that this will mean a delay in the trial.

Bundick was indicted back in August on one count of arson and one count of conspiracy.

Her fiancé Charles Smith faces 67 counts of arson and one count of conspiracy to commit arson.

police photo

ACCOMAC, Va. (AP) - A judge has denied a request by an attorney to quit representing a woman accused of setting a string of abandoned structure fires on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

WAVY-TV reports Accomack County Circuit Judge Glen Tyler on Tuesday denied motions by attorney Shannon Dunham to remove herself from the case and to have the trial pushed to a later date.

Tonya Bundick of Parksley was indicted in August on one count of arson and one count of conspiracy. Her trial, set for Nov. 6, was previously moved to Virginia Beach.

Virginia State Police

Not Guilty.

That’s the plea entered by 38-year old Charles Smith III in an Accomack County Court this week after being charged with 67 counts of arson in the string of fires that struck the county beginning last November and ending earlier this year.

He is also facing one count of conspiracy to commit arson along with the second suspect 40-year old Tonya Bundick who is also facing one count of arson.

Mug Shot

Tonya Bundick charged in the string of 70 arsons in Accomack County is being released on $30-thousand secured bond after being incarcerated for almost five months.

But she is not to leave Accomack and Northampton counties except for a medical necessity.

Her attorney Shannon Dunham told the court that her client wanted to return to being a mother and visit her two sons who are currently in foster care.

Originally, she had been denied bond by a retired County Circuit Judge because he believed she would most likely face multiple additional charges in the near future.

Wicomico County Sheriff's Department

The Accomack County Sheriff’s office has arrested a suspect in the fatal shooting of 32-year old James Wyatt of Tasley.

24 year old Jamar Hickman was taken into custody by the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office in Salisbury yesterday.

The Accomack County Sheriff’s office says that an investigation into the shooting found that there was dispute between several people at the same address where shots were fired that caused Wyatt’s death.

Hickman is being held in the Wicomico County Detention Center awaiting extradition to Virginia.


Don Rush

The Accomack County Board of Supervisors says the new state changes in the storm water regulations would doom the county and other localities with too much regulation.  

The Board is sending out a letter in which the local officials say that the definition of a measurable storm event is not appropriate for the Eastern Shore. 

The new regulations define it as a ¼ inch of rain within a 24 hour period which the Supervisors say disappears quickly into the ground because of the region’s lack of elevation and highly permeable soils among other factors. 


The U.S. Supreme Court decision striking Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act will allow the Virginia Counties of Accomack and Northampton on the Eastern Shore to make electoral changes without getting pre-clearance of the federal government.

Before the ruling any such change such as redrawing electoral districts to the choice of voting machines had to wait 60 day for a decision from the U.S. Justice Department.

police mug shot

Charles Smith III and Tonya Bundick appeared in a Virginia Court yesterday…facing arson charges as a result of a series of some 70 fires that hit Accomack County late last year and earlier this year.

Judge Gordon Vincent certified the charges against the two Hopeton residents who face, for the moment, one count each of arson and conspiracy to commit arson in connection with the fire at an abandoned building in Melfa last April.

Virginia State Police

The search warrants in the case of some 70 arsons in Accomack County earlier this year appear to contain information about the motive for the fires.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that one of those charges in the string of fires 38 year old Charles Smith allegedly told investigators that he and her girlfriend 40 year old friend Tonya Bundick picked out one house because of comments made on Facebook about her.

The warrant said there was probably cause for searching two Facebook accounts belonging to Bundick.

Virginia State Police are investigating another fire in Accomack County.   

It occurred last night at 9:15 pm when emergency workers responded to a blaze at the intersection of Drummondtown Road and Folly Farm Road near the town of Accomac.

Authorities say the fire took out an abandoned two-story wooden structure that was located off the roadway in the woods.

No injuries were reported.

WBOC reports that officials have not yet confirmed if this fire is part of a series of more than 70 arsons since mid-November.

There has been a suspected arson fire in Somerset County.

It is the second such fire in the last two weeks.

But, the Maryland State Fire Marshall Office says the blaze in Eden does not appear to be connected to the more than 70 arson fires that have struck neighboring Accomack County since mid-November.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that no one was injured in the fire which only affected a small portion of the porch.

Authorities said that there was an odor from some kind of accelerant such as diesel or kerosene.

There was another fire in Accomack County.

Virginia State Police said units responded to a blaze early Sunday morning at 1 a.m. at a single structure on Bullbegger Road in Withams.

Police say the building was not occupied and there were no injuries.

So far, police say they do not know if it is related to the recent series of more than 70 arson fires since last November on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

The firefighters struggling with more than 70 arson fires in Accomack County are getting some help from community groups and even those outside the state.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that local residents have stepped up by gathering items that fire companies need to restock their rehab unit as they  find their resources strained by the string of blazes.

The offering range from things like hot chocolate and water to sports drinks and snacks that are coming through local businesses across the Eastern Shore.

Virginia State Police are looking into whether a brush fire in Parksley early Saturday morning is connected to the recent spate of arsons that have hit Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

They say the blaze on Dennis Drive and County appears to be the result of arson.

Police are urging the public to come forward with any leads on the fires with a $25-thousand reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

There’s been another suspected arson fire on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

A turn-of-the-century wooden schoolhouse went up in flames last night at around 10:30 pm.

The structure on Cashville and Evans Wharf Roads was built in 1923.

It was being used as a storage facility by a local farmer, but had also been the site of the Andrew Chapel United Methodist Church.

The structure was completely destroyed.

Virginia State Police say they believe a fire at a motel last night was caused by arson.

Authorities say at least five fire companies responded to a blaze at the historic Whispering Pines Motel on Route 13 and Tasley Road at around 9:40 pm.

The motel is an abandoned building.

The fire comes in the wake of 65 arson fires in Accomack County since mid-November.

And they are taking a toll on the local firefighters.

Another fire in Accomack County.

This time Virginia State Police say it occurred around 10 pm last night at the intersection of Paige Fisher Road and Nocks Landing Road in Oak Hall.

Police say they suspect arson caused the blaze, if so it would be the 65th such fire in the region since last November.

Authorities have set up checkpoints and are handing out flyers with information about a tip line and the $25-thosuand reward leading to the arrest and conviction for those responsible for the arsons.

The Virginia State Police have set up a checkpoint in Accomack County hoping to catch those responsible for 64 arson fires in the region.

On Saturday the police say that they had divided the county in half creating only one way in and out.

Officers are handing out flyers with the tip hotline and an explanation of the reward for those who help lead to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators.

There have been no arson fires since the stepped up surveillance.

There’s been another fire in Accomack County.

This time it was in Melfa where a blaze engulfed an abandoned two-story structure on Sunday night.

Virginia State Police Investigators were notified around 9:25 pm.

The structure was located in the 2800 block of Beacon Road.

No injuries were reported.

There have been around 50 arson fires since last November and a $25-thousand reward has been posted for anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons involved the arson cases.

Two more blazes hit Accomack County over the weekend.

On Sunday evening, Virginia State Police report that an abandoned two story building on Saxis Road in Termperanceville was on fire around 9:30 p.m.

Another fire broke out in Nelsonia around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night.

Virginia State Police said it occurred when a wide metal trailer caught fire on Lankford.

Police said the single trailer was unoccupied and used by the owners to block the public from looking into the back of their property. 

No injuries were reported.

HALLWOOD, Va. (AP) - The authorities are investigating another fire on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

The Virginian Pilot reports that the fire was reported Thursday night in Hallwood. No one was injured in the structure fire, which was described as minor.

Investigators have not said whether the fire is linked to the nearly 50 that have been set since November.