KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Kansas City-area church with ties to a woman who police think was murdered is now teaching its members how to spot cults.
Micah Moore confessed to killing 27-year-old Bethany Deaton after police deemed it a suicide. His confession included a confusing web of "religious group" secrets that included homosexual relations and the repeated sexual assault of Bethany Deaton.
But on Wednesday, his attorney told reporters the confession was false.
“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,” read attorney Melanie Morgan. “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, Tyler Deaton from their extremely close-knit religious community.”
RELATED | Micah Moore attorneys say his confession was untrue http://bit.ly/V6LLno
Morgan was unable to make that case in front of a judge on Wednesday because the prosecution asked for a continuance. They hope to obtain an indictment and take the murder case to a grand jury.
The prosecutor’s office would not comment on Morgan’s post-court statement Wednesday evening.
Moore is still being held in Jackson County Jail. He is charged with first-degree murder.
Moore, Bethany Deaton and her husband, Tyler, all have ties to the International House of Prayer. Bethany Deaton moved to Kansas City for an internship with the non-accredited International House of Prayer University
IHOP has released a pair of statements since Moore was charged, distancing itself from the small religious group.
However, a video posted on the IHOP.org website points to real concern about cults in the greater church community.
“We are living in the midst of a cult being in our midst recently, and we’re wanting to take immediate action, and this is one of our action steps,” said IHOP’s Mike Bickle. “My point in doing this is not so you won’t ever be deceived, but so you would be equipped to help others who are being lured in, in the early stages of a cult.”
LISTEN to the sermon and find out what IHOP considers the seven characteristics of a cult here: http://bit.ly/TuBofO
“When a false teacher has a close knit group associated with them, that false teacher is more than a false teacher: They’re also a cult leader,” Bickle said.
Tyler Deaton, the leader of the small religious group named in court documents, is not charged in his wife’s death.
The investigation into Bethany Deaton’s death continues.
Moore is expected back in court on Jan. 17.
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