Ironically, a Black attorney, Miangel Cody, represented Moudry throughout his courtroom proceedings. U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman reportedly told Moudry in no uncertain terms that he should be grateful for his Black lawyer who defended him.
In his defense, Cody said that his client suffers from schizophrenia, childhood abuse, and alcoholism, which allegedly contributed to Moudry burning down the victims’ home.
According to Judge Gettleman, Cody defended him so “ably and compassionately” that Moudry should realize that race doesn’t matter, “Everyone who comes into th is room is of the same race — the human race that we try to treat equally under the law.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Podesta didn’t agree with Cody’s mental illness defense, though, arguing that Moudry is a racist, “This was an exceptionally despicable crime that was motivated by hate.” Podesta also said that Moudry’s sentence should serve as a warning to others who share his ideologies, “If you threaten someone because of their race, you forfeit your right to live in a free society.”
As part of a plea bargain, the 36-year-old arsonist pleaded guilty last January to violating the family’s civil rights.