Baltimore, MD – Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby is defending a plea deal she gave a man facing 18 felony charges for setting his ex-girlfriend’s house on fire and even the arsonist said he thinks his sentence was ridiculous.
The incident occurred in May of 2021 when Luther Moody Trent set fire to his former girlfriend’s home while she and two of her roommates were asleep inside it, WBFF reported.
Trent, who claimed a friend talked him into starting the fire, told WBFF that he poured gasoline all over the side of his ex’s house and set it ablaze.
“I went to the side of the house and poured gasoline on the side of the house,” he said. “The love of my life is in Baltimore. I know where she lives at. And I can’t even talk to her. Can’t say nothing to her.”
“In my head, it was some Romeo and Juliet type of thing – if I can’t have you, no one can have you, at least in Baltimore,” Trent explained.
Today, I spoke with a convicted arsonist – who explained how he set his ex-girlfriend's house on fire with her inside – about a plea deal he got from City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby's Office.
"I shouldn’t be out," he said.
— Mikenzie Frost (@MikenzieFrost) January 12, 2022
Court records showed that he returned to the scene while the fire was still blazing.
“I wanted to see what I did, what I had done,” Trent told WBFF.
Trent was arrested and initially charged with 18 felonies, including three attempted-murder charges.
But then Mosby’s office cut him an unbelievable deal, WBFF reported.
“I’m like oh, I was just charged with 18 different counts. And then it was dropped to 10. And then it was dropped to one. When I shouldn’t be out right now,” Trent said.
But the state’s attorney’s office negotiated a plea deal with Trent in which he pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree arson last month. WBFF reported.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Trent was given a 10-year suspended sentence.
He was released from jail after serving less than six months for setting an occupied home on fire, WBFF reported.
Even the arsonist said that his sentence was a joke and sent a bad message to other criminals.
“That tells that anybody that ‘I can go shoot somebody or I can attempt to shoot somebody, and I’ll be completely fine,’” Trent told WBFF.
“It would empower me because I would be like, okay, this man just shot somebody, just blew his head off and he’s just out walking free. I can do anything I want. I can rob somebody, I can shoot somebody, I can do anything I want,” he explained.
Trent said he never should have been released so quickly.
“I disrupted somebody’s life. I traumatized somebody because of how I felt in a situation,” Trent told WBFF. “Personally, yes, I want to be out but principally, no I shouldn’t be out because I could have done a lot more damage than I did.”
“I was expecting to get time,” the arsonist continued. “People who were in that situation, they should expect to get time.”
Trent’s victim, Alexis, agreed and told WBFF that she felt like her case suffered because of somebody’s political agenda.
“I was in shock. I didn’t really know what to feel,” she said after Trent was sentenced and released. “It doesn’t seem like justice was served, it feels like a political game, but not my justice.”
Alexis said a prosecutor from Mosby’s office called her the night before the deal was finalized “as a professional courtesy,” WBFF reported.
She went public on Jan. 3 with threatening text messages and her request for a protective order that detailed an allegation of rape against Trent.
But Alexis said Mosby’s office told her they couldn’t file charges against him for the rape because she hadn’t had a rape kit done afterwards, WBFF reported.
“Because I had not, he said it would be nearly impossible for that charge to be brought against him,” Alexis said. “I was confused because I was thinking that the law has mechanisms in place for something like this to be part of the case and I was just like – really, upset and angry because that had happened to me.”
Thiru Vignarjah, a former city and federal prosecutor who is acting as spokesperson for Alexis, has demanded an explanation from the state’s attorney’s office, WBFF reported.
Vignarjah wants to know why the charges against Trent were dropped and why there was no investigation into the rape allegations.
“You’re talking about a case where the perpetrator in the middle of the night, burned her house down with her and her two roommates in it,” the victim’s attorney said. “This person was charged with three counts of attempted murder and arson.”
“The prosecutor, the day before the trial was supposed to begin, informed the victim that for all of her courage, for all of her efforts, he would get a chance to go home two weeks before Christmas,” Vignarjah continued. “That is an outrage. That is injustice and it is the wrong message to send not just to the criminal, but to the victim as well.”
Mosby’s office defended Trent’s plea deal in a statement sent to WBFF on Jan. 12.
“Based on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s lack of criminal record, we made an offer within the sentencing guidelines to secure a felony conviction and to ensure that the defendant remained under the supervision of the State with a court-ordered [a] stay away from the victim,” the state’s attorney’s statement read.