Saturday, September 28, 2013

Accused Arsonist Leaves Jail / Attorney Files For New Trial Location

Story and Photo by Linda Cicoira
Toting a clear plastic bag of books and papers and dressed in the T-shirt, rolled-up green pants and large white hoop earrings she was wearing on the night she was arrested in April, Tonya Susan 
Bundick was released from Accomack Jail Monday after being incarcerated for more than 5½ months.

In an effort to avoid members of the press, two county deputies escorted the accused arsonist out the side door and then drove her to the magistrate’s office around the corner. There she signed bond documents and was set free until her trial in November.

Eastern Shore Bail Bonds of Accomac posted the $30,000 needed for her get-out-of-jail card. Five weeks ago, Judge Glen A. Tyler set the amount. Before that Bundick was held without bond. Defense lawyer Shannon Dunham of Eastville brought the required $3,000 (10 percent) to the company Monday morning. 

“Due to confidentially reasons, I cannot disclose” who came up with the funds, said Michael Allen, an owner of the bond business. 

The 40-year-old Hopeton woman’s name is now a household word as allegations and photos of her and her fiancĂ©, Charles Robert Smith, 38, were published by news agencies around the globe. 

Bundick is facing counts of arson and conspiracy. Smith, who is still being held in jail with bond denied, was indicted on 68 counts of arson and conspiracy.

Dunham filed a motion last week asking Tyler for a change of venue, the legal term for moving a trial to a new location. Tyler will hear arguments on the motion Oct. 1.

Meanwhile, Carl Bundick, who represents Smith, also known as Charlie Applegate, asked that the court suppress “all evidentiary matters and items seized by the government during a warrant-less seizure and search of” Smith and the vehicle the couple were in when they were arrested on April 1.

The lawyer is arguing that the seizures violated Smith’s “fourth, fifth and sixth amendment rights of the Constitution of the United States.” 

“No probable cause and/or … existed after such initial seizure,” Carl Bundick wrote. “No voluntary consent existed for such seizure or search.”The lawyer says Smith was not given a “Miranda 
warning … in this case.” 

Nearly 80 arsons were reported in Accomack from November 2012 to April 2013. Smith confessed to setting a majority of the blazes, according to court documents. He told police Tonya Bundick set 15 blazes.


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