For Immediate Release
Baltimore Man Pleads Guilty to Arson Charges and Admits to Setting a House on Fire While Three People Were Inside
Baltimore, Maryland – Luther Moody Trent, age 21, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty yesterday to malicious destruction of property by fire.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Toni M. Crosby of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Maryland State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; and Chief Niles R. Ford of the Baltimore City Fire Department
According to his guilty plea, on May 21, 2021, at approximately 1:30 a.m., Trent poured gasoline along the exterior of a Baltimore residence and then set the gasoline on fire while Victim 1, Victim 2, and Victim 3 were inside. The fire caused significant damage to the residence and the adjoining property. All three victims and firefighter personnel were alerted and were able to evacuate without injury.
Victim 1 was in a prior volatile relationship with Trent which result in the police being called on at least one occasion, as well as an order of protection being issued in favor of Victim 1. Examination of Victim 1’s cell phone revealed that Trent had sent threatening text messages to Victim 1.
After further investigation, a Baltimore City police detective located a video of a prior incident with Trent and Victim 1 on March 23, 2021. After reviewing the video, the BPD detective recognized Trent and remembered that he had approached him at the scene of the arson. At that time, Trent identified himself as “Trey Johnson” and claimed to be inquiring about his “cousin” that he said lived in the residence. According to the detective, Trent seemed to be acting nervous and drove away from the scene in a black two-door sedan. Victim 1 confirmed that Trent drove a black two-door sedan at the time.
As stated in his guilty plea, Trent was interviewed by a local news station about the arson in which he claimed to have set Victim 1’s residence on fire because he was upset that he could not see Victim 1. Further, Trent compared his actions to Romeo and Juliet and stated that “if I can’t have her, nobody can, or at least no one in Baltimore.”
Trent faces a mandatory minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 20 years in prison for malicious destruction of property by fire. U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander has scheduled sentencing for August 11, 2022 at 10 a.m.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the ATF, Maryland State Fire Marshals, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, the Baltimore Police Department, and the Baltimore City Fire Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Judson T. Mihok, who is prosecuting the case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.