Tonya Bundick sentenced for 2 Eastern Shore arsons

Sept. 4, 2014. (WAVY/Aaron Kurtz)

ACCOMAC, Va. (WAVY/AP) — A judge sentenced Eastern Shore arsonist Tonya Bundick to 10 1/2 years in prison Thursday on charges stemming from two of the fires.

Bundick is accused of setting more than 60 fires on the Eastern Shore. A judge ruled in April that she can have separate trials on each charge.

A jury convicted her in August of setting a fire March 4, 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 was held in Accomack County Circuit Court.

Special Coverage: Eastern Shore Arsons

During Thursday’s hearing, Bundick parted ways with her court-appointed attorney. Bundick tried to fire him back in August, but the judge denied it. The lawyer, Allan Zaleski, filed a motion Thursday to withdraw himself from her case and the judge approved his request.

In court, Bundick essentially said he didn’t do a good job defending her. “I can’t react to that. A lot of people say things about me, you know. I hope she does very well. I wish her well,” said Zaleski.

Janee Joslin of Virginia Beach has been appointed as Bundick’s new counsel and notices of appeal have been filed in Bundick’s two cases. Her next trial is scheduled for Dec. 15 and 16 in Virginia Beach.

Co-defendant Charles R. Smith has pleaded guilty to 67 arson counts and a conspiracy charge. He is awaiting sentencing.

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