INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A 23-year-old man at the center of a bizarre story that his attorneys now say was never true, pleaded not guilty to murder Thursday in Jackson County Court.
In early November, Micah Moore went to police and told them he killed Bethany Ann Deaton, 27, on October 30th at Longview Lake after her husband ordered him to do it. Moore claimed the husband, Tyler Deaton was also his spiritual leader and that he and Tyler, along with other men, had sex with Bethany Deaton after drugging her on several occasions.
Then, at the end of November, during what was supposed to be a preliminary hearing, Moore’s attorneys told the judge that Moore made up the story and that there was actually no crime– that Bethany Deaton died from suicide as police originally thought.
Prosecutors then asked the judge for a continuance so they could seek an indictment through a grand jury. In mid-December, a grand jury indictment was filed in the courts. Moore’s next court appearance is scheduled for February 8th.
Moore’s attorneys released the following statement about Moore’s original confession:
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