Judge: Bundick arson trial will stay in Va. Beach, bond revoked

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by Karen Hopkins, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on December 11, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 11 at 7:14 PM

ACCOMACK CO.-A judge Wednesday ordered Tonya Bundick back to jail and refused to move her trial on an arson charge out of Va. Beach.

Bundick was initially indicted on two charges - arson and conspiracy - and then 62 more arson charges were added last month. 

Investigators believe Bundick and her boyfriend, Charles Smith III, are responsible for most of the 77 arsons on the Eastern Shore that had be set since last fall. They were arrested in April.

A judge earlier agreed to move her trial out of Accomack Co.  because of pre-trial publicity. Then, her attorney asked for the trial to be moved out of southeastern Virginia for the same reason.

Today, the request was turned down.

In court, Bundick took the stand to try to convince the judge she should remain free while awaiting trial.  She said she'd had no problem since she was released.  

However, the judge revoked her bond, saying that the conditions had changed with the addition of the 60+ arson charges.   He noted that conviction on all charges - even with one year sentence on each count - would be tantamount to a life sentence.

Bundick's trial on the two charges is set for January 13, 2014 in Va. Beach.

Before that, on January 9, a hearing will be held to determine whether evidence from the other cases can be used in the trial.

Smith, a former volunteer firefighter, pleaded guilty in October to 67 arson counts and one conspiracy count.

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