CRIME

Tonya Bundick released from jail; accused of setting Eastern Shore fires

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ACCOMAC, Va. (AP) - A woman suspected of setting a string of fires on Virginia's Eastern Shore is free on bail.

Officials at Accomack County Jail said Tonya Bundick of Parksley was released Monday after a judge last month ruled that she could be released on a $30,000 secured bond.

As a condition of her bond, the 39-year-old can't leave Accomack or Northampton counties unless it is medically necessary.

A grand jury in August indicted Bundick on one count of arson and one count of conspiracy.

Her fiance, 40-year-old Charles Smith III, faces 67 arson counts and one conspiracy count. He remains held without bond in the Accomack County Jail. Smith is a former volunteer firefighter.

Smith and Bundick, who are engaged, originally were charged with one count each of arson and conspiracy to commit arson when a state trooper and sheriff's deputy stopped their minivan near a fire in Melfa on April 2.

Police stepped up patrols in the area as 77 abandoned structures along the Eastern Shore were set ablaze since last fall. Troopers saw a minivan stop in the road and witnessed someone run from the vehicle toward the back of the house where a fire started, according to search warrants.

When police stopped the minivan, Bundick was identified as the driver, and Smith was the passenger, the documents said.

In court documents, Smith told investigators he torched 52 unoccupied buildings and Bundick set fire to 15.

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