A Baltimore man who pleaded guilty to burning down the home of his ex-girlfriend was shocked when he was offered a plea deal by prosecutors. Luther Trent was facing 18 charges, including arson and three counts of attempted murder, after he started a fire at the home in May 2021.
“I went to the side of the house and poured gasoline on the side of the house,” Trent told WBFF. “The love of my life is in Baltimore. I know where she lives at, and I can’t even talk to her. Can’t say nothing to her. In my head, it was some Romeo and Juliet type of thing – if I can’t have you, no one can have you, at least in Baltimore.”
While Trent admitted to starting the fire, he was offered a deal in which he would plead guilty to just a single count of arson. As a result of the plea deal, Trent was given a ten-year suspended sentence and was released after just six months behind bars.
Trent said he was shocked that he was released and believes he should still be in jail.
“I was just charged with 18 different counts, that was dropped to 10, that was dropped to one. When I shouldn’t be out right now. I disrupted somebody’s life. I traumatized somebody because of how I felt in a situation,” Trent said. “Personally, yes, I want to be out, but principally, no, I shouldn’t be out because I could have done a lot more damage than I did. I was expecting to get time. People who were in that situation, they should expect to get time.”
The victim, identified only as Alexis, said she was angry and upset when she learned that Trent was given such a lenient plea deal.
“I was in shock. I didn’t really know what to feel,” she told the news station. “It doesn’t seem like justice was served. It feels like a political game, but not my justice.”
A spokesperson for the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office defended the deal.
“Based on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s lack of criminal record, we made an offer within the sentencing guidelines to secure a felony conviction and to ensure that the defendant remained under the supervision of the State with a court-ordered stay away from the victim,” the spokesperson said.
Local officials are also angry with the plea deal. Roya Hanna, who is running against Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, said the decision to release Trent sends the wrong message to other criminals.
“It is pleas like these that embolden the criminal. It is pleas like these that destroy the city of Baltimore,” Hanna said. “On behalf of Alexis, I’m calling on the state’s attorney’s office to apologize to Alexis.”