INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Attorneys for the man who claimed he killed a woman at the order of her husband said Wednesday that Micah Moore, 23, made up the whole story.
Moore turned himself into police on November 9th. In the probable cause statement, Moore claimed he killed Bethany Ann Deaton, 27, after he says his spiritual leader and her husband ordered him to do it.
Deaton was found dead in the backseat of a van on Oct. 30, at Longview Lake. Near her body was an empty bottle of Acetaminophen PM.
Police say there was also a suicide note in the van.
But then, almost three weeks ago, Moore told police Bethany didn’t kill herself but was instead murdered on the order of her husband, Tyler Deaton – the leader of a close-knit religious group in which court documents say the members had sex with each other.
Court documents said Moore admitted to suffocating Deaton because members of the group feared she would reveal to her therapist ongoing sexual activity that Moore considered sexual assault.
Investigators said Moore lived with Deaton, her husband and other men. A probable cause statement reveals Moore told a detective he and the other men in the home, including Deaton’s own husband, drugged her and sexually assaulted her for months.
Tyler Deaton has not been charged with any wrongdoing in connection to the death of his wife
Wednesday afternoon, prosecutors asked the judge for a continuance so they could seek an indictment. A grand jury will likely be convened to consider whether Moore should be indicted for Bethany’s murder. Prosecutors would prefer an indictment so they do not have to present their evidence in court.
After the judge granted the continuance for the indictment request, attorneys for Micah Moore released a statement that read in part:
The purpose of today’s scheduled preliminary hearing was to determine whether there was probable cause to believe a crime had been committed and whether there is cause to believe that Micah Moore was somehow involved. We are aware of no evidence that a crime has occurred– the facts suggest Bethany Deaton’s death was an unfortunate suicide and Micah Moore had nothing to do with that suicide. Driven to the police station by representatives of his church community, Micah told a fictional account that was bizarre, nonsensical, and most importantly, untrue. They were the 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. We trust the local authorities will focus their investigation equally into disproving Micah’s story as much as they would be inclined to try to substantiate it. In the end the truth will show that Micah Moore is innocent…” by Morgan Pilate LLC- Attorneys at Law
Moore did not say anything during the court proceedings Wednesday. He walked into the courtroom wearing an orange jumpsuit and in shackles with other inmates. A few members of his family from Texas were there, including Moore’s father, two uncles and an aunt.
Related: Deaton Murder Cover-Up