Peter Moses sentenced * Aum cult trial * Faith healers lose appeal

bullet Peter Moses, the leader of a Black Hebrews-related cult in Durham, NC, was sentenced Friday to two life terms and mandatory mental health counseling.

Moses pleaded guilty in June, 2012, to the murder of 4-year-old Jadon Higganbothan, and to ordering the murder of 28-year-old Antoinette Yvonne McKoy.

McKoy was beaten up and murdered because she attempted to leave Moses’ polygmous cult. The boy was killed because Moses believed him to be gay.

Two of his followers were sentenced last month for their parts in the murders.

bullet Japan’s Supreme Court has upheld a decision by the Tokyo District Court to allow three former Aum Shinrikyo cult members to testify in open court rather than in a detention center.

They will testify in the trial of Makoto Hirata.

Hirata turned himself in to Tokyo police on New Year’s Even, 2011 — after almost 17 years on the run — and was subsequently indicted in three cases, including the fatal abduction and confinement of a Tokyo notary clerk in 1995.

Meanwhile, the cult has reinvented itself, but still worships jailed guru Shoko Asahara.

bullet The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the convictions of a couple who let their 11-year-old daughter, Madeline Kara Neumann, die from a treatable form of diabetes after they prayed for healing rather than seek medical treatment.

After they were each convicted separately on second-degree reckless homicide charges, Dale and Leilani Neumann were sentenced to a withheld sentence and 10 years of probation with conditions.

Those conditions included that each parent will also serve 30 days in jail a year for the next six years.

In addition their surviving children are subject to regular and random health checkups until they reach the age of 18.

A judge denied the Neumanns´ appeal of their sentence. An Appeals Court subsequently recommended that the Wisconsin Supreme Court hear the case, saying that this is the first case of its kind in Wisconsin and the issues are likely to arise again.

At the time the judge wrote,

“We submit that it is appropriate for Wisconsin’s highest court to determine the scope of the prayer treatment exception and to inform trial courts regarding the appropriate jury instructions when that exception is raised in a reckless homicide case.”

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This post was last updated: May. 9, 2014