arson

Virginia State Police

Charles Smith has been sentenced to 15 year in prison for string of arson fires that hit Accomack County in 2012 and 2013.

He had pled guilty to 65 counts of arson late last year and had testified against his ex-fiance Tonya Bundick.

She has entered an Alford plea to 61 counts for the string of blazes.

Bundick will be serving 17 and a-half years in prison for the crime.

The vast majority of the fires were set in Accomack County but there were no injuries from the blazes.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Two Delaware men have pleaded guilty to arson charges after fires at three churches in the Felton area in December.
 
The Delaware State News reports that 27-year-old Alex Harrington Jr. of Frederica and 26-year-old Joseph Skochelak of Felton entered the pleas Monday in Kent County Superior Court. They pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree arson, second-degree conspiracy and third-degree burglary.
 

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - A woman faces 17 years in prison for participating in a string of fires set on the Eastern Shore.

Media outlets report that Tonya Bundick entered Alford pleas on Monday to all 61 arson counts remaining against her. She previously was convicted of setting two fires on the Eastern Shore.

An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt but an acknowledgement the state has enough evidence to convict.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Two Delaware men have been arrested on arson charges in fires at three churches in the Felton area, all in a four-hour period.

The Delaware State Fire Marshal's Office says the first fire happened around 2 a.m. Dec. 2 at the Healing Hands Christian Church, which was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived.

As crews battled that blaze, another fire was reported at the Manship Chapel. The last fire came at 5:30 a.m. at the Laws Mennonite Church. 

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ACCOMAC, Va. (AP) - Another trial has been scheduled for a woman charged in an arson spree on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

WAVY-TV reports that Tonya Bundick's third trial will be held Dec. 15 in Virginia Beach. The trial was moved from Accomack County because of difficulty finding impartial jurors in the county.

A judge ruled in April Bundick can have separate trials on each of 62 arson charges.

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FELTON, Del. (AP) - Authorities are investigating three arsons at Delaware churches all in one morning.

The Delaware State Fire Marshal's office says someone started the fires in the Felton area Tuesday morning. The first fire happened just before 2 a.m. at the Healing Hands Christian Church, which was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

As crews were battling that blaze, another fire was reported at the Manship Chapel. Crews were able to contain that fire.

The last fire came at 5:30 a.m. at the Laws Mennonite Church.

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Tonya Bundick got a ten and a half year sentence for two arsons carried out in Accomack County last year.

She declined to say anything before she was sentenced for the fires.

She was sentenced to 3 and a-half years for a fire in Accomack County that occurred in March of 2013 after being convicted by a jury.

She was sentenced to seven years in prison for an Alford plea in the fire that took place on April 1st of last year in Melfa.

Circuit Judge Glen Tyler also denied two defense motions.

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ACCOMAC, Va. (AP) - A woman accused of participating in an Eastern Shore arson spree is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday on charges stemming from two of the fires.

A jury convicted 41-year-old Tonya Bundick in August of setting a fire March 3, 2013, in Accomack County. In January, Bundick entered an Alford plea to arson and conspiracy stemming from an April 2013 fire in Melfa.

Thursday's sentencing will be held in Accomack County Circuit Court.

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ACCOMAC, Va. (AP) - A woman accused of setting a series of fires along Virginia's Eastern Shore has been denied a request for a new court-appointed attorney.

Media outlets report a judge in Accomack County denied Tonya S. Bundick's request Thursday.

A jury last month convicted Bundick of setting a fire March 3, 2013, in Accomack County. In January, Bundick entered an Alford plea to arson and conspiracy stemming from an April 2013 fire in Melfa. 

She'll be sentenced in both cases Sept. 4.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - A woman charged in an Eastern Shore arson spree has been found guilty in her second trial

A jury convicted Tonya Bundick on Tuesday of setting a fire March 3, 2013, in Accomack County. The jury recommended a sentence of 3.5 years and $10,000 fine. She will be sentenced in September.

In April a judge ruled Bundick can have separate trials on each of the 62 arson charges.

Bundick awaits sentencing after entering an Alford plea in January to arson and conspiracy stemming from an April 2013 fire in Melfa. 

Virginia State Police

Tonya Bundick’s former fiancé testified that she drove him to the scene of a March 3rd fire last year at an empty house in Keller.

On the first day of her trial on one count of arson Charles Smith III told the court yesterday that as soon as "the coast was clear", he got dropped off by Bundick, entered the house and set the attic on fire. 

Smith has pleaded guilty to 68 counts – 67 of which are for arson in Accomack County -- in late 2012 and early 2013.

In one twist in the trial came when Smith said he still loved her.

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The trial for Tonya Bundick on one count of arson is set to get underway in a Virginia Beach courtroom today.

It’s just one out of 62 counts the 42-year old from Hopeton faces.

She has already entered an Alford plea to two counts related to a fire in April in of last year.

She is set to be sentence on those counts in September.

Her fiancé, Charles Smith III, pleaded guilty in October to 68 counts – 67 of those for arson in Accomack county in late 2012 and early 2013.

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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.

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May 16th has been set as a court date for Tonya Bundick who faces 62 arson charges in connection with the blazes that struck Accomack County in late 2012 and early 2013.

She will be arraigned at 9 a.m. in Circuit Court in Accomack County.

Bundick has already entered an Alford plea to two other charges admitting there was enough evidence to convict.

Her fiancé Charles Smith has entered guilty pleas to 67 arson charges involving 68 fires.

Earlier a substitute judge denied a motion by prosecutors that the counts be tried together as part of a common plan.

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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.

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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.

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Tonya Bundick entered an Alfred guilty plea to one count of arson and one count of conspiracy to commit dramatically ending her two day trial.

The plea means that she recognizes there is enough evidence for a conviction.

She could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to a $5-thousand.

Bundick has also been indicted on 64 counts of arson.

Her fiancé Charles Smith has pleaded guilty to over 60 counts of arson for the fires set in abandoned buildings in Accomack County in late 2012 and early 2013.

Virginia State Police

The first trial of Tonya Bundick in the series of arsons at abandon buildings in Accomack County got underway in Virginia Beach yesterday.

her fiancé Charles Smith told the jury in the afternoon that after his unsuccessful attempt to set the first blaze Bundick started the fire herself.

Smith told the court there was no plan or scheme to set the fires.

There were around 70 fires in all between late 2012 and early 2013.

Bundick faces one count of arson and one count of conspiracy to commit arson in this trial.

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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.

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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.

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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

ACCOMAC, Va. (AP) - A woman accused of setting a string of abandoned structure fires on Virginia's Eastern Shore wants the location of her trial moved a second time.

WAVY-TV reports Tonya Bundick's new attorney asked Wednesday that her trial take place in Emporia in Greensville County, citing heavy media coverage in Hampton Roads.

A judge earlier granted her first attorney a change-of-venue request from Accomack County to Virginia Beach. That attorney then quit representing her.

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.

Virginia State Police

ACCOMAC, Va. (AP) - A former volunteer firefighter charged in a string of arsons on the Eastern Shore has pleaded guilty to 68 counts.

Media outlets report that 40-year-old Charles Smith III pleaded guilty to 67 counts of arson and one count of conspiracy to commit arson Thursday morning in Accomack County Circuit Court. He will be sentenced in December.

Smith and his fiancé, Tonya Bundick, were accused of setting fire to abandoned structures between November 2012 and April of this year. They were arrested April 2.

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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.

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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.

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The arson trial of 40 year-old Tonya Bundick has been moved from Accomack County to Virginia Beach.

Substitute Judge Glen Tyler said that he had never seen an Eastern Shore Case receive such publicity and noted that county’s community of firefighters and police officers would probably make jury selection a problem.

In addition, Judge Tyler noted that the charges faced by Bundick’s fiancé 39 year-old Charles Smith could have an impact on potential jurors.

He noted that Smith had been charged with 67 arson counts and one conspiracy count.

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Tonya Bundick who has been accused of participating in a series of around 77 arsons in Accomack County is out on $30-thousand bail.

The 39-year old cannot leave either Accomack or Northampton counties except when medically necessary.

The Salisbury Daily Times A grand jury indicted her on one count of arson and one count of conspiracy.

Her fiancé 40-year old Charles Smith is in jail on 67 counts of arson and one count of conspiracy.

The series of arson began in November of 2012 and ended in the spring of this year.

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.

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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.

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