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Judge weighs request for 62 separate arson trials

ACCOMAC (AP) A judge is considering a woman’s request for separate trials on 62 counts of setting fires on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

Media outlets report that the judge wants to review testimony from Tonya Bundick’s earlier trial on two charges, as well as a statement by co-defendant Charles Smith, before ruling.

Bundick’s lawyer told an Accomack County judge Thursday that separate trials are warranted because there was no common goal in the fires. A prosecutor argued that the goal was to allow Bundick and Smith to maintain their romantic relationship.

The judge ruled that any jury trial will be held in Virginia Beach, where Bundick was convicted on two counts. He granted a request that Bundick be allowed to wear makeup in court.

Smith pleaded guilty to 68 charges in October.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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