Suspect makes court appearance in Bethany Deaton case

A man who has confessed to the murder of his religious sect leader’s wife appeared in court today.

After the hearing Micah Moore was freed on a $250,000 cash bond. He is due back in court in February.

Last November Moore was charged with first-degree murder after he confessed to killing Bethany Deaton in order to prevent her from revealing she was being sexually assaulted.

Before his confession police had treated Deaton’s death as a suicide.

A Probable Cause statement shows Moore told investigators he killed Deaton at the request of her husband, Tyler Deaton.

Associated with the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Tyler Deaton led a small spiritual community at his home where he lived together with his wife and several men.

The church, controversial in Christian circles for it theology, has tried to distance itself from Tyler Deaton.

According to court documents several of the men living in Deaton’s commune told detectives they were involved in a “sexual group,” having sex with each other, and that it was part of a “religious experience.” The men in the group reportedly also engaged in sex with Tyler Deaton.

Moore told police that Bethany was being sexually abused by him and other men in the group

Malanie Morgan, a lawyer for Moore, claimed Moore’s confession was made it, saying it was “bizarre, nonsensical and most importantly, untrue.”

In a statement, Morgan said of Moore confession:

They were statements 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.

The doctrines taught in that community affected Micah’s mental state and unfortunately dominated his thinking. Micah’s fiction to police led to the filing of the complaint in this case.

Nevertheless, in December a Grand Jury indicted him for first degree murder.

No charges have been filed against either Tyler Deaton or the International House of Prayer.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday January 17, 2013.
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