ACCOMAC, Va. - The woman accused of arson will no longer be tried in the very county where she was arrested.
Eight days after posting bond, Tonya Bundick finds out she will face a jury of her peers in Virginia Beach.
Inside the courtroom, her lawyer Shannon Dunham argued that the extensive media coverage of the case and the notoriety of the more than seventy fires would not allow for a fair trial. She asked judge Glen Tyler for a change of venue.
"[The case has] touched the community in so many realms," said Dunham. "It certainly is something that hasn't died down in time as can be seen in court."
Bundick's co-defendant, Charles Smith, faces 67 counts of arsons and one count of conspiracy to arson. Smith claimed Bundick is responsible for 15 fires.
Dunham says that association could hurt her case.
But commonwealth attorney Gary Agar argued a presumption that Bundick can receive a fair trial, quoting Stockton vs. Commonwealth (1984).
"We have no showing that... the trial would be prejudice," said Agar.
After deliberating out loud for close to ten minutes, judge Tyler said a change in venue was best for the case. Tyler says he originally thought of moving the trial to Northampton County, but said he felt the number of people affected would still be large throughout the Eastern Shore.
As for the start of Bundick's trial, it's scheduled for November 6th, but that could change pending availability in the Virginia Beach court system.
All sides appeared willing to want to keep the same date, but that decision will be made later this week.
In court, both Dunham and Bundick agreed to waive her right to a speedy trial, if the date needed to be moved.