Cult leader gets two life sentences for murders

Cult leader Peter Moses has been sentenced for the shooting murders of 4-year-old Jadon Higganbothan and 28-year-old Antoinetter McKoy.

Moses, who led a religious cult called the Black Hebrew Israelites, was given two life sentences.

The group, consisting of several women and eight children, lived at a home in Durham, NC.

Moses, who had multiple wives, preached that the black race would eventually rule the world, and that women — who he referred to as ‘possessions’ — were ‘cursed to serve men.’

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

Antoinette, one of Moses’ wives, was killed after she attempted to escape the group.

Last month Vanea Rae Sisk, Jadon’s mother, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for murdering Antoinette.

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.

Fingerprint links cult leader to dead bodies in murder case

Peter Moses Investigators have matched a fingerprint from the graves of a young boy and a woman with the leader of a religious cult who has been charged in their deaths, search warrants issued by the Durham, NC Police Department show.

The single fingerprint found on a piece of tape that had been wrapped around plastic bags that encased the body of 5-year-old Jadon Higganbothan has been conclusively identified as belonging to Peter Lucas Moses Jr. [Read more...]