Figure in Mail Bomb Probe Arrested on Other Charges
MACON, Ga. (AP) _ Walter Leroy Moody Jr., the target of a federal probe into two fatal mail bombings by an avowed racist, was arrested Tuesday with his wife on apparently unrelated charges.
A spokeswoman in the U.S. attorney’s office said Moody and Susan McBride Moody were charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice, subordination of perjury, bribery of a witness and tampering with a witness.
The Moodys’ home in Rex, Ga., was thoroughly searched last year by federal agents investigating a series of mail bombings, including two that killed a federal judge in Birmingham, Ala., and a civil rights lawyer in Savannah. Letters that claimed responsibility for the bombings attributed them to a racist hate group.
Bruce Harvey, a lawyer representing Moody, said Tuesday’s charges were not related to the bombing investigation.
The Moodys were charged with trying to illegally induce the federal court in Macon to issue a writ of error that would vacate Moody’s 1972 federal conviction for unlawful possession of a pipe bomb.
Moody, 56 a self-employed literary consultant, was convicted in 1972 after a pipe bomb went off in his home, injuring his then-wife, Hazel. Moody spent two years in federal prison.
Tuesday’s indictment said the Moodys persuaded witnesses to sign false declarations and give false testimony to vacate the charges in hearings at the U.S. District Court in Macon.
The witnesses, Julie Linn West and her mother, Joanne Ekstrom, of Atlanta, provided an alibi for Moody by saying they knew the Macon bomb was planted by someone other than he.
The two women were relocated by the government in April after Miss West recanted her testimony and claimed that Moody paid her to lie in court proceedings, according to the Atlanta Constitution.
The indictment said it covers activities during the period from 1986 to 1988 as well as February and March of this year. The search of the Moodys’ home took place in February.
Prosecutors claimed at the time of his conviction that Moody planned to send the pipe bomb to an Atlanta auto dealer who had repossessed his car.
If convicted, Moody could be sentenced to up to 69 years in prison and face fines of up to $1.2 million. Mrs. Moody, 28, faces up to 64 years in prison.