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Copyright 1995 The Atlanta Constitution  
The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

March 30, 1995, Thursday, JOURNAL EDITION


LENGTH: 307 words

HEADLINE: Moody is unlikely to get new trial in mail bombing



A federal judge indicated Wednesday he probably will toss out Walter Leroy Moody's motion for a new trial, saying he found much of a key witness' testimony "unbelievable."

U.S. District Judge Thomas Flannery said he saw no evidence that FBI agents coerced Ted Banks into testifying in the 1991 trial in which Moody was convicted of mailing pipe bombs that killed a federal judge and a Savannah civil rights lawyer.

On Tuesday, Banks testified that FBI agents threatened him to force him to lie to convict Moody during the 1991 trial.

Flannery, a Washington, D.C., judge brought in to hear the motion, said he will issue a formal ruling in a few weeks. He said he found Moody's claims of government misconduct and newly discovered evidence "without merit."

Flannery's comments capped a two-day hearing during which Moody refused to present any evidence on his behalf or question any of the witnesses.

A prosecution witness, FBI Special Agent Raymond Raleigh, on Wednesday directly implicated Banks, 68, a boat maker from Titusville, Fla., in the mail-Bomb attacks.

Banks testified at the trial that he welded three pipes together at Moody's request in 1989 and suspected they were for bombs. One was made into the Bomb that killed Savannah lawyer Robert Robinson. The other two were made into mail bombs and intercepted at the NAACP office in Jacksonville and at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Another pipe, not welded by Banks, contained the mail Bomb from Moody that killed federal Judge Robert Vance of Alabama.

Raleigh, an FBI polygrapher, said he tested Banks twice in January 1991, asking Banks if he helped plan any of the bombings, if he helped make the bombs, and if he helped select any of the victims. When Banks replied, "no" to the questions, the polygraph indicated deception, Raleigh said.