4:44 PM CST, January 18, 2013
A Joliet man pleaded guilty Friday to setting fire to a home on his street in 2007 because the home's residents were African-American.
Brian James Moudry, 36, who had been held without bond since he was arrested on May 30, 2012, entered the plea as part of an agreement that would result in his receiving a sentence of no more than 10 years in prison, according to an emailed news release from the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. He had been charged with using fire to interfere with housing rights on the basis of race.
According to the release, Moudry, of the 300 block of Reed Street, admitted that he had carried a can of gasoline to the home at about 4 a.m. on June 17, 2007, had splashed it on the home, and had ignited it. No one was hurt, though the home's residents at that time included 8 children and 1 adult.
According to the release, Moudry, who is white, had been upset that an African-American family had rented a house on his street in the southwest suburban city and had set the fire because home's residents were African-American. He said he hoped to "interfere with their continued ability to rent the residence" and to intimidate the home’s owner into never renting to African-Americans, the release said.
The family living in the rental home moved from the neighborhood after the fire, the FBI said at the time of Moudry's arrest.
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