‘Cult’ leader gets two life sentences in Durham murders
DURHAM, N.C. — The leader of a so-called Durham cult was given two life sentences Friday in the killings of a woman and a 4-year-old boy he believed to be gay, according to WTVD.
Peter Moses Jr. apologized in court to the mother of one of his victims.
“I’m sorry ma’am for your daughter,” he said.
Prosecutors said Moses was responsible for the deaths of 4-year-old Jadon Higganbothan and 28-year-old Antoinetta McKoy. Their remains were found buried plastic bags by a plumber working in the backyard of a home in the 2600 block of Ashe Street in 2011.
Seven people were originally charged in the shooting. They were members of a polygamist religious group led by 28-year-old Moses known as the “Black Hebrew Israelites.”
Prosecutors say Moses shot Higganbothan in the garage of a home on Pear Tree Lane in front of his mother, Vania Sisk, because he believed the child was an abomination. They said McKoy was killed because she tried to escape from the group and it feared she would tell police about the boy’s murder.
Moses’ sister, Sheila Moses and his mother, Sheilda Harris, were part of the seven originally arrested, but were cleared of all charges in 2012.
Sisk and the other conspirators are all serving jail time after agreeing to plea deals.
In court Friday, Moses’ attorney Lisa Miles told Judge Orlando Hudson her client was not a cult leader, but was mentally ill – saying his illness “made him do something monstrous.”