By Mary Wilson
Twenty-three-year-old Micah Moore of South Kansas City was charged Saturday with first-degree murder in the death of twenty-seven-year-old Bethany Deaton of Grandview.
Deaton’s body was found on October 30 at Longview Lake. A c c o r d i n g to the Probable Cause Statement, Jackson Count Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a Longview Lake shelter house on a reported dead body. Once there, deputies found a tan-colored van in the parking lot with a body slumped over in the rear seat. The body appeared to be that of a white female with a white trash bag over her head.
A notepad was also inside the vehicle, with an apparent suicide letter, along with over-the-counter medication. Deaton’s photo identification for Menorah Hospital, where she was a nurse, was also found on the floor of the vehicle. There were several International House of Prayer CD’s on the front seat.
On November 9, ten days after Deaton’s body was discovered, Moore responded to the Grandview Police Department and made statements about being involved with the death of Deaton.
According to court records, while being interviewed Moore stated, “I killed her.” Moore said he killed Deaton because she and her husband, Tyler Deaton, had shared a residence with Moore and several other
males, where they had sexually assaulted her for several months. According to Moore, Deaton had been seeing a therapist and they were afraid that she was going to tell her therapist about the assaults.
Moore admitted to being at Longview Lake with Deaton and said he “…placed a bag over her head and
held it there until her body shook.”
The court records also state that Moore said someone (the name of whom is blacked out) told him to kill Deaton, saying they knew Moore had it in him to do it. Moor told detectives that Deaton had been given
Seroquel, a prescription anti-psychotic, and mentioned it being given to her during the sexual assaults and in a water bottle the day of her murder.
Detectives interviewed International House of Prayer Pastor Shelly Hundley, who stated that she had talked with Moore at the Grandview Police Department and he admitted to the sexual assaults, saying they were video recorded on Moore’s iPad. Moore also stated there were poems, which the assailants wrote about the assaults, on his iPad.
Detectives also interviewed several other roommates of the Deatons. One, who said he was a roommate and member of his church and religious community, said he had been in a secret ongoing sexual relationship, which Tyler Deaton claimed was to “discover his masculinity.”
Another roommate stated that he had not been in the “community” as long as everyone else. This person had come into contact with Tyler Deaton at Southwestern College and moved to Kansas City to become part of the community after graduation. He advised that Tyler Deaton was the leader of the community, and that he felt he was groomed to fit into the group of men. He recalled,according to court records, one time that he was lying in bed and Tyler had laid next to him and held him, and stated that he realized now that Tyler was attempting to make him a member of their sexual group.
Another roommate describes Tyler Deaton as “controlling and manipulative”, and said that the sexual activity that went on in the house was part of a “religious experience.”
The final roommate interviewed stated he had been involved in a long-term sexual relationship with Deaton. He said he and Deaton’s sexual relationship had been in secret, but he knew of other male roommates also involved with Deaton. He explained that Tyler Deaton was viewed as a “spiritual leader” that had control over the members of the household. He also said he believes that members of the household would lie for Deaton so he could remain the leader of the group.
According to court records, Deaton’s behavior the weeks prior to his wife’s death was “angry and frustrated.” Deaton told him that he had a dream that he had killed his wife by suffocating her.
Prosecutors requested a bond of $500,000 and said there could be more charges coming in the case.