Bethany Deaton, a Kansas City woman, died Oct. 30, and two weeks later, a member of her prayer group, Micah Moore, confessed to killing her. Moore's confession stunned authorities when he revealed that Deaton's husband Tyler allegedly told him to kill his wife. Moore's lawyer calls the confession "untrue."
Bethany Deaton first met Tyler Deaton and Micah Moore at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. Later, they all moved to Kansas City, Missouri for internships at International House of Prayer University, an evangelical education center of with thousands of members. Tyler Deaton also had his own prayer group, which both Moore and his wife were a part of.
Police found Deaton's body Oct. 30 in the backseat of a van parked at Longview Lake. Although a white plastic bag was found over her head loosely, authorities ruled it a suicide because of the empty bottle of acetaminophen and a suicide note.
"My name is Bethany Deaton. I chose this evil thing. I did it because I wouldn't be a real person and what is the point of living if it is too late for that? I wish I had chosen differently a long time ago. I knew it all and refused to listen. Maybe Jesus will still save me," was found on a notepad in the van.
Moore, 23, then confessed to killing Deaton on Nov.9, claiming that Deaton directed him to kill his wife. He also claimed that he had been drugging and sexually assaulting the 27-year-old woman along with other members of the prayer group who lived in the communal house. His lawyer, Melanie Morgan, called the confession "bizarre, nonsensical and most importantly, untrue."
"These 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," she said outside the courthouse, where her client's hearing was delayed.
Prosecutors had received a continuance from Jackson County Associate Circuit Judge Jeffery Bushur, and Moore's case is scheduled for Jan. 17.
"We are aware of no evidence that a crime has occurred," Morgan continued. "The facts suggest Bethany Deaton's death was an unfortunate suicide and Micah Moore had nothing to do with that suicide."
Despite Moore's confession, police have not charged Tyler Deaton with his wife's death, but he is under investigation, according to the Huffington Post.
Deaton married Bethany in August, and Moore was a groomsman in the wedding.