Cult Leader Pleads Guilty of Murdering Boy He Thought was Gay
The leader of a religious sect from North Carolina plead guilty to two counts of first-degree murder for killing a woman and a young boy, the North Carolina news station WRAL-TV reported.
Peter Lucas Moses Jr., 28, from Durham, N.C., is charged with the deaths of Jadon Higgabothan, 4, and Antoinetta Yvonne McKoy, 28.
Prosecutors say that Moses shot Higgabothan, who was not his biological son, in the head because he believed he was gay. He also shot McKoy in the head because he was worried she would go to the authorities about the murder. Their bodies, which were wrapped in black plastic trash bags, were buried behind Moses' mother's house.
Moses' brother, Harris Moses, and sister Sheila Moses are charged as accessories for McKoy's murder along with P. Leonard Moses. Additionally, Jadon's mother, Vania Sisk, and two other women who lived with Moses have been charged with murder in McKoy's death and as accessories in Jadon's death.
The Herald-Sun reported that Peter Moses was allegedly the leader of a group called the Black Hebrews -- a polygamist cult-like group. The Black Hebrews believe they are descendants of the ancient Israelites.
Authorities say that Moses killed the 4 year-old in October 2011 in the home where other adult members of the group and their children lived.
WRAL-TV also reported that a woman who left the organization told the cops that Moses killed Higgabothan because he thought he was gay and that he was worried that the young boy touched one of his sons inappropriately. Prosecutors said that Moses took Higgabothan in the garage and shot him.
The woman then told the authorities that Moses had McKoy killed two months later after he found out she could not get pregnant and wanted to leave the group.
Officials said they eventually found the group living in Colorado and that Moses' fingerprints were discovered on the tape that bound the trash bags, which contained the victims' bodies. Colorado police said they found a .22-caliber handgun in the home where the group had been living and that tests proved the weapon was used to kill Higgabothan and McKoy.
Moses took plead guilty to avoid getting the death penalty.
"He pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree murder and agreed to testify against his co-defendants if he is called upon to testify," said District Attorney Leon Stanback. "He's facing two life sentences consecutively without parole," Stanback said.