Man Who Blamed Spacemen for Crime Will Get New Trial
The Arizona Supreme Court overturned the murder convictions and death sentence of a man who admitted killing two women but said space aliens were in control of him at the time.
The ruling last week means that Robert Joe Moody is entitled to a new trial for the 1993 separate robbery-murders of two friends, Michelle Malone, 33, and Patricia Magda, 56.
Moody, 39, claimed his involvement in the crimes was involuntary because “extrasensory biological entities” were in control of his body and he was merely an unconscious observer of the murders.
Moody asked Superior Court Judge Howard Hantman before his 1995 trial to appoint him a new lawyer, saying he didn’t trust his court-appointed attorney. Hantman refused and Moody ended up representing himself with assistance from his original public defender and later a different one.
Hantman’s refusal to appoint a new defense lawyer violated Moody’s constitutional right to representation, the Supreme Court said in a majority opinion signed by four justices.