On Wednesday, an attorney for Micah Moore, the man charged with the first degree murder of Kansas City woman Bethany Deaton, said her client made a false confession to murder due to his fragile mental state.
Lawyer Melanie S. Morgan said after a court hearing, “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,” reports The Kansas City Star.
View slideshow: Police Say ‘Ex-Gay’ Kansas City Prayer Group Leader Tyler Deaton, Conspired to Murder His Wife, Bethany Deaton
Morgan continued, “Driven to the police station by representatives of his church community, Micah told a fictional account that was bizarre, nonsensical and most importantly, untrue.”
She said Moore was under “extreme psychological pressure” due to Bethany’s death and “the sudden removal of his spiritual leader, Tyler Deaton…” noting her client is innocent.
Moore, 23, a member of a Christian prayer group, described as cult-like in the media, told authorities Tyler Deaton convinced him to murder his wife Bethany, 27, and make it look like a suicide. Her body was discovered on Oct. 30 in a van at Longview Lake.
According to the Star, Moore admitted to killing the young newlywed by placing a plastic bag over her head.
The Star reports that Moore also gave investigators inside information regarding the prayer group, saying all of its members lived together in one house and used sex as a spiritual device. Moore also claimed that Bethany was sexually assaulted by a number of male members of the group over the past several months.
According to the Advocate, Deaton, 26, struggled with his homosexuality, and believed he had transformed his sexual orientation from gay to straight.
He and Bethany reportedly joined the International House of Prayer’s (IHOP) school and ministry in 2009.
The couple married in August and since then witnesses have said that members of the prayer group began drugging and attacking Bethany, while having sex with Tyler as part of their religious experience, the Advocate reports.
According to Moore’s confession to police, Deaton wanted Bethany dead because he feared she would speak out about the sexual assaults.
IHOP has denounced Deaton and his actions, saying in a statement his name was incorrectly added to a list of small groups affiliated with the religious organization.
Deaton has not been charged with Bethany’s death, however, prosecutors note he and other members of the prayer group are currently under investigation.
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