Va. Arson Defendants Found Competent to be Tried

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Tonya Bundick is one of two suspects arrested for serial arson on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

    Two people suspected in setting a string of fires on Virginia's Eastern Shore have been found competent to stand trial.

    The conclusion followed a court-ordered psychological evaluation of Charles R. Smith II and Tonya Bundick.

    Police have said the couple is responsible for most of the 77 arsons on the Eastern Shore since last fall. They were arrested April 2.

    The Daily Times reports that the psychological evaluations of Smith and Bundick found that both defendants suffer from depression.

    The evaluations reveal that Bundick was subjected to verbal and emotional abuse at home as a child and physically abused by her father. The report by Norfolk psychologist David H. Keenan said that Bundick was of above average intelligence, but had a history of depression and is currently taking two prescribed medications.

    The evaluation of Smith notes that he was abandoned by his biological father and was placed in special education classes in school, repeating the 9th grade several times before dropping out at age 17. Smith reported experiencing anxiety and depression during his childhood and adolescence, but has avoided using mental health medications in the past.

    Keenan wrote in his report that Bundick's condition meets the criteria for being found competent to stand trial and offer a plea. Smith's condition also meets competency standards, but may be contingent on seeking psychiatric consultation and possible treatment.