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Press Release

Baltimore Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Federal Prison for Setting a House on Fire While Three People Were Inside

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander sentenced Luther Moody Trent, age 21, of Baltimore, Maryland to 12 years in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, for malicious destruction of property by fire.  The Court has also ordered Trent to pay $612,700.20 in restitution.

The sentence was announced by Erek L. Barron, United States Attorney for the District of Maryland; 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.

“Justice has been served — our community and the victims here finally got some accountability” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, Erek L. Barron.

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, however, all three victims were alerted and escaped without injury.  Firefighters were eventually able to extinguish the blaze.

Victim 1 was in a prior volatile relationship with Trent which resulted 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 recalled that he was 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.”

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 prosecuted the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit and

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Alexis Abbott
(301) 344-4342

Updated August 11, 2022

Violent Crime