Cult member gets 30 years in murder of son, woman

Vania Rae Sisk, from Durham, N.C., was sentenced today to at least 30 years in prison for helping conceal her 4-year-old son’s murder, and for killing another woman of the religious cult to which she belonged.

In June, 2012 Peter Moses, leader of the Black Hebrews-related cult, pleaded guilty to killing the boy, Jadon Higganbothan, and the woman, 28-year-old Antoinette Yvonne McKoy.

His plea took the death sentence off the table, but Moses faces two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. He was to be sentenced today, but his case was delayed due to an attorney’s scheduling conflict.

Authorities have said that Moses led a religious group of women and children who called him “Lord” and feared him. Moses took several of the women, who lives with him in South Durham, as his “wives.”

A woman who escaped the group in February, 2011 told police Moses shot Jadon because he thought the boy was gay.

The woman also told police that Vania Sisk, shot and killed McKoy, who had tried to escape.

Court records show that Moses ordered Sisk, one of his girlfriends, to shoot McKoy after Moses, Sisk and two other cult members beat her for hours.

Last February LaRhonda Renee Smith, who helped dispose of Jadon’s body and clean up after the crime, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges. She was sentenced to consecutive sentences of 141 to 179 months, for a total possible of 282 months (23.5 years) to 358 months (almost 30 years).

WNCN reports that

On Wednesday, Lavada Harris received two sentences of about eight years in prison each for her role in the crimes. Moses’ brother, P. Leonard Moses, also received two prison sentences Wednesday for his role in the murders and faces a total of up to 13 years in prison.

Today Sisk was sentenced to 180 to 225 months for the murder and accessory charges and a consecutive sentence of 180 to 225 months on the kidnapping and conspiracy charges.

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This post was last updated: Jun. 27, 2013