UPDATE: Bundick Sentenced To 10.5 Years For Two Arson Fires - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

UPDATE: Bundick Sentenced To 10.5 Years For Two Arson Fires

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ACCOMAC CO., Va. – On Thursday in an Accomack County courtroom, Tonya Bundick was sentenced to ten and a half year behind bars for her involvement in two arson fires last year.

Judge Glen Tyler sentenced a quiet, emotionless Bundick to three and a half years in prison for a fire in Keller on March 3, 2013, and was also issued a $10,000 fine. This was the same recommendation given from a jury during her trial in July.

Bundick was also sentenced to two seven year terms for arson and conspiracy to commit arson for a fire on April 1, 2013 in Melfa, but Judge Tyler ruled that she will serve them consecutively. He also sentenced her to three years for parole after she serves her term.

"We were hoping for a lesser sentence, it should have been less, but it is what it is," says Allen Zaleski, the public defender who was appointed to both of Bundick's trials thus far.

Before the sentencing, Judge Tyler denied Bundick's attempt to withdraw an Alford Plea, which is not admitting guilt but acknowledging enough evidence to convict her, from her first trial. Bundick's reasoning, according to Zaleski, was about a testimony given in her second trial from William Ashbrook. Ashbrook was reportedly a former cellmate of Smith, and he testified that Smith told him he used Bundick's son's bicycle to get away from the fires he set. Zaleski argued that if Ashbrook would have testified in her January trial, it could have changed her plea.

Judge Tyler also shot down a request for Bundick's sentencing to happen after trials for her remaining 62 counts. He stated that he hardly believes any jury would be able to keep the 62 counts in line, and that so far, each trial only looked at the counts that Bundick was facing.

One motion that did go Bundick's way, is for permission to get new lawyers after Zaleksi filed her appeal, which he says he plans to do. While Zaleksi did wish Bundick well, and said that the two did get along, he seemed relieved, describing Commonwealth Prosecutor Gary Agar as "implacable."

"I asked him if she pleads guilty to 15 counts will that satisfy you? He said no, you have to do the 62," says Zaleski. "Whoever's got it has a job ahead of them."

47 ABC asked Agar for a comment, but he declined making any statement until Bundick's 62 other counts are tried.

Judge Tyler also asked that Charles Smith, Bundick's former fiancée and co-defendant, to be sentenced after 30 days but before 60 days. Smith has plead guilty to 67 arson counts and a conspiracy charge.

"I've been hollering about that for a long time, they've been pushing for her but Charlie gets a free ride until he performs, and that's why they delayed the sentencing, they want to see how he performs," says Zaleski. "He's got a terrible record he's going to have about 100 felony convictions. I'd hate to be where his lawyer is."

Accomack Arsons - Continuing Coverage
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