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.

Virginia State Police

ACCOMAC, Va. (AP) - Two people suspected of setting a string of fires on Virginia's Eastern Shore have been indicted on arson and conspiracy charges.

Forty-year-old Charles Smith III faces 67 arson counts and one conspiracy count. Thirty-eight-year-old Tonya Bundick is charged with one arson count and one conspiracy count.

Accomack County Commonwealth's Attorney Gary Agar tells media outlets that a grand jury issued the indictments on Monday.

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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.

A fourth arson fire has hit the town of Cambridge since late March.

Deputy State Fire Marshals are investigating the multiple fires the last of which occurred on Friday night involving a two-story vacant home on Fairmount Avenue.

The first fire on High Street set on March 20th also involved a two-story single-family home causing $90-thousand worth of damage.

Two other fires were set on March 26th involving a similar type of structure one located on Cross Street and another on Cedar Street.

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One of the suspects arrested in the Virginia Eastern Shore arson fires has reportedly confessed.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that a checklist for bail determination says  Charles Robert Smith III confessed and has 31 previous felony convictions.

The paper says it is not clear from the document what the scope of the confession was.

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.

In Accomack County another fire broke out.

Just after 9 p.m. last night firefighters were on the scene of an abandoned building fire at the intersection of Saxis and Wessells Farm Roads in Temperanceville.

WBOC reports that when fire companies arrived on the scene the building was fully engulfed in flames.

It is still under investigation by Virginia State Police, and has not yet been confirmed as arson.

There have been upwards of 50 arson fires set in Accomack County since November of last year.

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.

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.

There’s a new report out of Accomack County the Virginia State Police are investigating an attempted arson.

Authorities say evidence points to someone yesterday trying to set fire to a church located on Deep Creek Road in Onancock.

WBOC reports that police say they were called to the scene at around 2 p.m. and that it appears the attempt was made within the 24 hours.

Damage to the church was reported to be minimal and no one was injured.

Its fire number 46 in Accomack County.

Last night, Virginia State Police were sent to a fire at 11:30 p.m. on route 13 in Nelsonia where an abandoned two story commercial building was ablaze.

No one was injured.

This followed a fire on February 9th in Temperanceville where police said a storage barn was burned down.

WBOC reports that preliminary investigations reveal that it appears to be arson.

A $5-thousand reward has been offered for information that leads to the arrest of the person or persons who  are responsible the crime.

Virginia State Police say those arson fires on the Eastern Shore are the work of several people not just one person.

They believe they are from Accomack County and are familiar with the lay of the land.

Police also say they have several leads but are keeping the information from the public

There have been 44 such blazes since last November.

WBOC reports that state police have stepped up patrols called in extra investigators and are working closely with local law enforcement.

All the structures that have been hit have not been occupied.

There’s been another fire in Accomack County.

This time it occurred on Saturday night in Parksley at around 11 pm.

Police say the fire was set intentionally to an abandoned barn.

This is the 44th such arson since November.

Few details are being released by police except that a criminal investigation is ongoing.

Another blaze has broken out in the recent spate of arson fires in Accomack County.

Virginia Police say they are investigating a suspected arson…that occurred around 12:30 am yesterday morning at an abandoned home in Wachapreague at the intersection of Drummondtown and Chancetown roads.

Local resident LaDawn Logan told the Salisbury Daily Times that she opened her door to see the old house go up in flames.

The latest blaze has caused concern in the community with Logan saying the authorities need to catch the arsonists.

There were two more fires in Accomack County.

The blazes by an apparent arsonist resurfaced Sunday night after being quiet for several weeks.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that authorities were called to a fire at a storage shed in Nelsonia and brush and a tire pile fire at F&G Automotive on coastal Boulevard in Onley.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Michelle Anaya said these fires have been included in the investigation into a string of more than 40 arson fires that started November 12th at an abandoned house.