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Crime

After receiving time served in city, Baltimore arsonist sentenced in federal court to 12 years for setting fire to ex-girlfriend’s home

A Baltimore man who received a controversial sentence of time served last year for setting his ex-girlfriend’s home on fire was sentenced Thursday to 12 years in federal prison.

Luther Moody Trent, 22, pleaded guilty in June to one count of malicious destruction in connection to a blaze at his ex-girlfriend’s house while she and two others were inside. Trent admitted to pouring gasoline on her rowhouse at 1900 Linden Ave. on May 21, 2021, and lighting it.

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Trent’s ex-girlfriend and the other victims did not appear in court Thursday.

“Mr. Trent had hoped to be able to apologize to the victims in court, but they were not present‚” said Trent’s attorney, Teresa Whalen, in an email. “He wanted to let them know he is deeply sorry and will regret this for the rest of his life.”

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His ex-girlfriend did not respond to a request for comment from The Sun.

Trent was charged federally after he pleaded guilty to state charges in Baltimore city related to setting the fire and received a sentence for time served, triggering his release from custody in December. He served less than six months in jail. The Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office originally charged him with 18 felonies, including three attempted-murder counts.

After his release, Trent gave an interview to Fox45 in which he said he burned the Bolton Hill home out of infatuation with the ex-girlfriend.

“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,” he told the TV station.

Thiru Vignarajah, an attorney for the victims, later filed the motion in Baltimore Circuit Court arguing that Circuit Judge Melissa M. Phinn erred in accepting the plea with an agreed-upon sentence before hearing from the two victims in attendance and without the third victim having a fair opportunity to give a victim-impact statement.

In February, Phinn vacated the plea and sentence and reinstated the indictment. Trent was taken back into state custody.

His new court date in Baltimore Circuit Court is Sept. 13.


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