Accused Eastern Shore Arsonist Requests Separate Trials For Each Of 62 Fires | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Accused Eastern Shore Arsonist Requests Separate Trials For Each Of 62 Fires

Play associated audio

A judge in Accomack County, Va., has delayed making a decision on whether or not to grant alleged arsonist Tonya Bundick's request for separate trials in each of her arson cases.

Tonya Bundick is charged with 62 counts of arson, and she and her attorneys are asking for 62 different trials — claiming that each fire was different and should not be tried as one large body of work.

Prosecutors, however, claim the 62 fires in 134 days have “narrow fact patterns." All were done at night, the buildings were all unoccupied, no accelerant was used to start the fires, and most importantly, the fires were a way she and fiancé Charles Smith healed their rocky relationship. So, those facts warrant a single comprehensive trial for the arson spree that put much of Virginia’s Eastern Shore on high alert for five months in 2012.

And while the judge isn't ready to make that decision, he did rule that Bundick will be allowed to wear makeup and properly wash her hair before she appears in court after her lawyers argued that she was not allowed to properly groom herself “as a lady would” before her last day in court.

Bundick entered an Alford plea to charges of arson and conspiracy to commit arson at her Virginia Beach trial in January, meaning she pleaded guilty while still asserting her innocence.

Smith pleaded guilty in October to 68 charges related to 67 fires. He has not yet been sentenced.

NPR

'Guardians' Director: This Movie Needed Me!

Morning Edition's David Greene talks to director James Gunn about his new film, Guardians of the Galaxy, which Marvel hopes to make its next big franchise. Characters include a raccoon and a tree.
NPR

Syracuse Researchers Melt Rock, Grill A Steak Over Magma

Researchers at the university built a furnace that can melt rock, then had a cookout. Chefs placed a ribeye on a grill over the 2,100-degree magma. Seconds later, a very charred, medium rare steak.
NPR

Assessing Obama's Foreign Policy After A Week Of Crises

Politico Magazine editor Susan Glasser and Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum talk with Linda Wertheimer about how the president's foreign policy moves are playing out at home and abroad.
NPR

Big Data Firm Says It Can Link Snowden Data To Changed Terrorist Behavior

For months, U.S. officials have said secret data from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was affecting the way terrorists communicate. A Massachusetts company says it has found proof.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.