Judge Absolves FBI in Investigation
Nov. 25, 1998
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) _ A federal judge said the FBI owes nothing to a junk dealer whose $50 million lawsuit claimed a misdirected mail bomb investigation ruined his health, reputation and livelihood.
U.S. District Judge Harold Albritton said the government is shielded from such damage claims and did not recklessly disregard the truth when search warrants were issued for Robert Wayne O'Ferrell's home and business in 1990.
During the investigation, agents looked for a typewriter with keys to match the typed labels on mail bombs that killed U.S. Circuit Judge Robert Vance of Birmingham and civil rights lawyer Robert Robinson of Savannah, Ga., in 1989.
The typewriter was never found, but FBI investigators determined the labels matched letters that O'Ferrell had previously written to the courts.
O'Ferrell, 55, and his former wife, Mary Ann Martin, said in their lawsuit that agents pursued him despite knowing that Walter Leroy Moody of Rex, Ga., was the bomber. They sought $25 million each.
Moody was convicted and sentenced to death in the mail bombing that killed Vance.
O'Ferrell's attorney, William Gill, said Tuesday's ruling would be appealed.