Man formerly accused of killing federal judge seeks justice


NEW BROCKTON, Ala. (WDHN) — A New Brockton man said he wants compensation decades after being wrongfully accused of murdering a federal judge.

Judge Robert Vance was killed on Dec. 16, 1989, by a package bomb delivered to his home in Mountain Brook. His wife Helen was also seriously hurt by the blast.

A few days later, Atlanta attorney Robert Robertson was killed the same way.

On Jan. 22, 1990, FBI agents told Robert Wayne O’Ferrell they believed he was the bomber just as he arrived at his store.

“I never knew either one, the lawyers,” O’ferrell said. “I never knew none of them so it was as shock to us, especially when they come in, called on me and accused me of doing it.”

During this time, the FBI along with other agencies kept a close eye on O’Ferrell and his family and questioned them.

Later in the investigation, a new suspect was located, Walter Leroy Moody, who would later be executed for the crime in 2018. The real killer used a typewriter with a misplaced A to write a letter claiming responsibility.

However, O’Ferrell wasn’t happy about being called a killer.

“They fingered printed me; they took pictures of me,” he said. “I had to empty my billfold, everything in my billfold. They went through everything in my pocket and all this kind of stuff, and it was ridiculous.”

He and his daughter said this whole ordeal has been very harmful on their lives and wish it never happened.

“When I think about how stupid they was to do some of the things that they done,” O’Ferrell said. “Listen I never even thought about killing anybody, never have and never will.”

He said has written many letters to government officials, including Rep. Martha Roby, about the matter and has gotten two responses — one of those being from President Donald Trump.

O’Ferrell said he hopes to write a book about his story but has not had success so far.

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