18 January 2013
The man who confessed to murdering the wife of his spiritual leader and making it look like a suicide pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in court yesterday.
A Jackson County grand jury indicted Micah Moore, 23, in the death of Bethany Ann Deaton, whose body was found on October 30 in a van at Longview Lake, Kansas.
There was an empty pill bottle by her, a bag over her head and a suicide note, indicating to police she had taken her own life.
After the 23-year-old confessed, he said that Bethany’s husband Tyler Deaton told him to do it.
His attorney later said it was the act of a distraught and confused young man under extreme psychological pressure and that no actual evidence of a crime existed and that his confession
Moore is currently free on $250,000 bond, according to the Kansas City Star.
It was claimed last month that Tyler Deaton, who is still under investigation for ordering the brutal murder of Bethany, was involved in sexual affairs with at least three other men who lived at the religious community he led.
The charismatic Christian was in charge of a group whose members came to Kansas City from Texas to be part of the International House of Prayer.
After the arrest of Moore, several men who lived in the house told detectives they had been involved in ‘secret’ sexual relations with Deaton.
Court records have redacted these men’s names but, one witness told police that Deaton mentioned having dreamed that ‘he had killed his wife by suffocating her,’ a week after her death.
The Deaton’s other roommates told police of alleged sexual relationships by Deaton to ‘discover his masculinity’, because he was ‘frustrated’ that he ‘couldn’t get an erection’ with his wife according to the probable cause statement seen by the Daily Beast
Another member interviewed by detectives investigating the case said that one night he was lying in bed and that ‘Tyler had laid next to him and held him’.
‘He stated that he realized now that Tyler was attempting to make him a member of their sexual group.’
Another man who lived in the home in Kansas City said that ‘he was involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with Deaton’ and said that he ‘was controlling and manipulative and said that the sexual activity was part of a religious experience’.
A third man said in his statements to police that he had been in a sexual relationship with Deaton and named him as the household’s ‘spiritual leader.’
He claimed that in the weeks prior to his wife’s death Deaton had become ‘angry’ and ‘frustrated’.
Bethany Deaton was found dead in the back seat of a van on October 30 with a white plastic bag over her head, a purple pillow beside her and an empty pill bottle nearby.
Authorities in Missouri initially believed the death to be a suicide as they found a disturbing and tragic note next to her body.
‘My name is Bethany Deaton. I chose this evil thing,’ read the letter.
‘I did it because I wouldn’t be a real person and what is the point of living if it is too late for that?
‘I wish I had chosen differently a long time ago. I knew it all and refused to listen. Maybe Jesus will still save me.’
However, on November 9, three days after her funeral, Micah Moore, a member of Mr. Deaton’s IHOP walked into the Grandview Police Department and told officers that he had killed Bethany.
Since then allegations of repeated sexual assaults inflicted upon Bethany by male members of the IHOP have emerged, with the shocking suggestion that they may have been filmed on an iPad.
Moore told investigators that Bethany was killed because there were fears that she would tell her therapist that she was being sexually assaulted.
It was three days after the death of Bethany that Moore, 23, walked into the Grandview Police department and confessed to her murder.
‘I killed her,’ he told officers, according to court documents, adding that he had placed the bag over her head and ‘held it there until her body shook.’
While Moore has been charged with first degree murder of Bethany, authorities are still investigating Deaton, who has been described as a ‘Pied-Piper’ like leader.
Three years ago, Deaton and his band of followers moved from Texas to Missouri to attend the International House of Prayer and Deaton and his wife both became students at the International House of Prayer University.
WhileDeaton kept a separate religious sect to the IHOP, the church itself has separated itself from him – especially when they reportedly heard disturbing comments at the memorial service for Bethany.
They informed him the next day that he was no longer welcome on church property or at the church’s university.
Since his wife’s death, authorities in Missouri have said that Deaton – who on his Facebook page lists Harry Potter and learning foreign languages as ‘likes’ – has returned to Texas.
Messages left on his voice mail, Facebook and email have received no response.
However, since the arrest of Mr. Moore in early November, the case has turned on its head after his defence attorney, Melanie Morgan said that the 23-year-old was mistaken in his confession.
He told a ‘fictional account that was bizarre, nonsensical, and most importantly, untrue,’ said Morgan to the Daily Beast.
After finding Bethany’s body on October 30th, officials in Jackson County had ruled that she had died after consuming a bottle of acetaminophen and covering her head with a plastic bag.
However, despite withdrawing his confession, police have not dropped the charges against Mr. Moore, nor arrested Deaton.
Little is known about the prayer group that Deaton ran and the president of IHOP has said that Deaton’s group was independent and operated under a ‘veil of secrecy.’
In his confession, Moore told detectives that Deaton told him to kill Bethany.
Moore also said in his confession that he and several other men who all lived in the same apartment complex in Kansas City had been sexually assaulting Bethany repeatedly over the past several months.
It’s unclear whether Mr. Moore alleges that Deaton was among the men who assaulted her.
During his murder confession, Moore said that Bethany had been given a prescription anti-psychotic drug, Soroquel and that Deaton had ordered him to kill his wife because he, ‘knew Micah had it in him to do it.’
His attorney Melanie Morgan has countered her clients claims by saying, ‘We are aware of no evidence that a crime has occurred.’
She said Moore’s statements were those of ‘a distraught and confused young man under extreme psychological pressures, as a result of his friend Bethany’s untimely suicide, and the sudden removal of his spiritual leader, Tyler Deaton, from their extremely close-knit religious community.’
Doctrines taught in that community ‘affected Micah’s mental state and ultimately dominated his thinking,” she continued. “We trust that the local authorities will focus their investigation equally into disproving Micah’s story as much as they would be inclined to trying to substantiate it.’
However, the case against Moore and Deaton rely heavily on the anticipated autopsy results, which are expected imminently.
If the anti-psychotic drug or no acetaminophen is found in her system, then officials expect to act against Deaton and Mr. Moore.
‘Everyone involved in this story has serious credibility problems,’ Seattle defence attorney Richard Hansen told The Daily Beast.
‘Especially Tyler Deaton’s accuser, Micah Moore. He admits to having sex with Deaton’s wife, which gives him the greater motive to commit murder, not Tyler.
‘And as a confessed killer, any attempt to blame someone else, as in ‘the devil made me do it,’ must be viewed with skepticism.’
Fonte: Mail Online
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