VanPac News History

Copyright 1991 The Times Mirror Company  
Los Angeles Times

January 5, 1991, Saturday, Home Edition

SECTION: Part A; Page 20; Column 4; National Desk

LENGTH: 291 words


BYLINE: From Associated Press



A man accused of mail bombings that killed a federal judge and a city councilman in two states pleaded innocent Friday.

Walter Leroy Moody Jr., 56, was arraigned a second time before a federal magistrate in Atlanta on charges of sending the 1989 mail bombs that killed U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Robert Vance in Alabama and Savannah civil rights lawyer and alderman Robert Robinson.

Moody was first arraigned on the charges Nov. 8, the day after his arrest. A second arraignment was held because he stood mute during the first hearing and the court had to enter a plea of innocent for him.

On Friday, Moody entered his own innocent plea before U.S. Magistrate John Dougherty.

His attorney, Ed Tolley, also told Dougherty that he will withdraw a motion Monday filed by Moody's previous attorney to bar federal judges from hearing the case.

Instead, Tolley said he will ask that the case be moved outside the 11th Circuit, which includes Georgia, Florida and Alabama.

Attorney Bruce Harvey filed the first motion in November, saying that no federal judges could be impartial because many of them "altered their lifestyles" after a series of letters accompanying the mail bombs declared "war" against the entire federal judiciary. He asked that the Senate Judiciary Committee appoint independent judicial officers to try the case.

Moody was named in a 70-count federal indictment in connection with the mail bombings in December, 1989. He is charged with murdering Vance with a mail Bomb sent to the judge's home in suburban Birmingham, Ala., and with transporting explosive material with intent to kill in the death of Robinson.

If convicted on all 70 counts in the mail bombs case, Moody could face life in prison.