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Copyright 1991 The Atlanta Constitution  
The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

August 8, 1991


LENGTH: 356 words

HEADLINE: Moody gets 15 years in conspiracy case; Conviction involved bribing of witnesses

BYLINE: By Jingle Davis Staff writer


BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Walter Leroy Moody, convicted of two fatal mail bombings in June, was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison and fined $ 400,000 for bribing witnesses, conspiracy and obstruction of justice in an effort to have a a 1972 Bomb possession conviction overturned.

Testimony at Moody's trial indicated he created an elaborate alibi, invented a suspect and paid or threatened witnesses in an attempt to clear himself of charges that he built a Bomb that injured his first wife, Hazel. He was convicted on 13 counts and could have been sentenced to 70 years in prison and fined more than $ 2 million.

That Bomb eventually led federal authorities to Moody in the 1989 mail bombings that killed 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Robert Vance of Alabama and a Savannah lawyer, Robert Robinson. He was convicted in those deaths in June in Minneapolis and could receive multiple life terms without parole when he is sentenced Aug. 20.

Before U.S. District Judge Anthony A. Alaimo passed sentence Wednesday, Moody, 57, made a brief statement, saying his second wife, Susan McBride, who testified against him, was blameless.

"The culpability in regard to this matter lies with me in its entirety," Moody said. "Susan's participation was unwilling and the result of psychological coercion from me."

He asked the court to direct any sentence intended for Ms. McBride to him instead.

"That's the first admirable thing I've heard you say," Judge Alaimo responded.

Moody's attorney, Edward Tolley, attempted to use an insanity defense for Moody in the Brunswick case, but Moody rejected his attorney's advice.

Mr. Tolley said that he plans to appeal the sentence and that no decision has been made on whether Moody will be prosecuted on state murder charges in Alabama and Georgia.

Chatham County District Attorney Spencer Lawton has said he wants to prosecute Moody and ask for the death penalty in Mr. Robinson's murder.

Ms. McBride, who was divorced from Moody before his mail-bombing trial and has since remarried, is to be sentenced next week in Brunswick on one conspiracy count.

GRAPHIC: Photo: Walter Leroy Moody (second from left) is escorted by marshals into federal court in Brunswick for sentencing Wednesday. / The Associated Press