Convicted arsonist Tonya Bundick writes a letter asking for new lawyer

Posted at 5:30 PM, Aug 14, 2014

Accomack County, Va. (WTKR) - Convicted Eastern Shore arsonist Tonya Bundick is asking for new counsel.

In a handwritten letter sent from the Eastern Shore Regional Jail, Bundick addresses "To Whomever it Concerns" at the Accomack County Circuit Court.

The letter is not dated, but was received by the court on July 28, two weeks after her second arson trial in Virginia Beach.

Bundick writes "I am writing to find out the proper procedure for having your Public Defender removed from your case."

She goes on to say "I don't find the legal advice I am given to be in my best interests."

You can read the letter Tonya Bundick sent to the Accomack County Circuit Court here

Bundick's attorneys are the father-son pair of Allan Zaleski and Chris Zaleski, appointed by Accomack County Circuit Court Judge Glen Tyler.

They've represented Bundick during both of her trials.

In January, Bundick entered an Alford plea just before her case went to the jury on one count of arson and one count of conspiracy to commit arson.

That plea meant that Bundick did not admit guilt, but did acknowledge there was sufficient evidence to convict her.

In July, she was found guilty by a jury on a single count of arson.

Those jurors recommended a sentence of 3.5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

She still faces 61 additional counts of arson, which Judge Tyler ruled cannot be tried all together.

While she entered a plea of "not guilty" to all the charges against her, Bundick's former fiancee Charlie Smith entered a plea of guilty to all 68 charges against him.

Smith is still awaiting sentencing.

Virginia State Police said Bundick and Smith were responsible for the majority of the dozens of fires that plagued Accomack County between November 2012 and April 2013.

A hearing on Bundick's request for new representation is scheduled in Accomack County Circuit Court for August 21.

She is also scheduled to be formally sentenced from her convictions during the first two trials on September 4.


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