UPDATE: Day One Wraps In Bundick Trial With Smith On Stand - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

UPDATE: Day One Wraps In Bundick Trial With Smith On Stand

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Virginia Beach Courthouse Virginia Beach Courthouse
Tonya Bundick Tonya Bundick
FILE: Charles Smith FILE: Charles Smith

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - During day one in the trial of accused Accomack County arsonist, Tonya Bundick, a jury was selected and opening statements began.

In the courtroom Monday, Bundick was wearing a blue blouse and black pants. She pleaded not guilty yet again. For the third time, her lawyer tried to get some evidence suppressed, and for the third time, that request was denied. Before the jury was selected, the defense asked for another venue change. That motion too, was denied.

WMDT's Kody Leibowitz was in the courtroom all day, reporting the day began with jury selection. The initial pool of 26 was narrowed down to a final 14, including two alternates, with 8 women and 6 men.

Opening statements picked up around 2:00 in the afternoon, with much anticipated witness, alleged co-conspirator Charles Smith taking the stand. He addressed not only his account of what happened the night of their arrests, but also how the arsons were started. Smith told the courtroom that Tonya set the first fire, saying a major change came when quote "she almost got caught." In his words, "I couldn't stand seeing  her that way. If we were going to continue to set fires, I was going to do them."

These questions and answers were by the prosecution trying to prove the conspiracy charge.

To prove knowledge of the April 1st arson, Commonwealth attorney Gary Agar called 8 other witnesses to the stand, including state troopers who were surveying the scene, a firefighter,  two arresting officers, the sheriff, the home owner, and a record keeper at Verizon Wireless who looked at phone calls placed by two phones used by Bundick and Smith the night of the arrest.

Smith confirmed all the witnesses details, saying that he thought the place was a set up.

In court, the convicted arsonist appeared to glance over in Bundick's direction at least three times, in some instances wiping away tears. WMDT's Kody Leibowitz says, you could hear him choking up during his testimony, saying he still loved her, that she was his fiance and they lived together for 2 years.

Claude Henry, the owner of the house where both Charles Smith and Bundick were arrested on April 1st, 2013, says that two Virginia State Troopers were doing surveillance on the house. On that night, Bundick and Smith reportedly rode by the house, passed by their target, and didn't see the troopers.

Bundick's lawyer, Allan Zaleski, says that Bundick does intend to testify, but has not said when.

The fourteen jurors will convene back in court Tuesday at 9:00 AM, to hear the defense cross examine Smith.

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Accomack Arsons - Continuing Coverage
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