Local News

Couple gets probation in case linked to Satanism

Posted November 27, 2009

— A Durham couple whose crimes were linked to Satan worship pleaded to misdemeanor charges and will serve probation, a defense attorney said.

Joseph Scott Craig, 25, entered an Alford plea Friday – in which the accused maintains innocence while acknowledging that prosecutors had enough evidence to possibly win a conviction – to charges of assault inflicting serious injury and assault on a female.

Craig, his wife, Joy Johnson, 30, and Dianna Palmer, 44, of Cottage Woods Court, were charged last year after a man and a woman told police they were beaten, shackled to beds, kept in dog cages and starved inside a home on Albany Street.

The case against Palmer was dismissed in January.

Johnson pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting, Craig’s attorney, Woody Vann, said. Both were sentenced to two 60-day suspended sentences and a year of probation.

According to the search warrant in the case, the male victim went to live with the couple in November 2007, the female victim a month later.

Prosecutors said the victims met Craig through a shared interest in Satan worship, but that they never consented to physical abuse.

The warrant says that between December 2007 and June 2008, the male victim alleged he “sustained numerous beatings and abuse from Craig … Johnson instigated and encouraged Craig” during those incidents.

In defending Craig, Vann said, "The acts were consensual if they happened at all.”


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  • 07GoldWinger Nov 27, 2009

    Larky74406 - "Nothing good comes from worshiping anything."

    LOL! How True! Let's see what responses come from this!

    Many atrocities have come from belief and worship in many things.

  • ghimmy51 Nov 27, 2009

    Gee those are some excellent candidates for any open positions ... not. I'd cut my own throat before I'd give a job to any of those freaks.

  • floseh Nov 27, 2009

    These people all need to be locked up in an insane asylum, along with the people that gave them probation.
    The Floseh

  • Supie Nov 27, 2009

    So three Satanists moved into a house with two Satanists and were treated badly. I'm shocked. Sure, its against the law to beat and imprison people, but the "consensual" question does seem to be an issue. The plea bargain kept taxpayers from huge court costs. This plea bargain makes sense to me.

  • Adelinthe Nov 27, 2009

    "...after a man and a woman told police they were beaten, shackled to beds, kept in dog cages and starved inside a home on Albany Street."

    That's what happens when you step off the straight and narrow.

    God bless.


  • doubletrouble Nov 27, 2009

    I read simply "Devil Worship" in the story, which is enough for me. Bet they'll be popular in prison.

  • MillerB Nov 27, 2009

    r u crazy too- THANK YOU!!!!!!

  • withnailharrison Nov 27, 2009

    Hey Everyone,
    This is the most misunderstood story of the year. They are SADISTS (as in Sadism-Masochism), not SATANISTS (as in the Devil). Two letters difference. I have yet to read about upside down crucifixes and red robes at their house.

  • r u crazy too Nov 27, 2009

    I just don't think that being Democratic or Republican has anything to do with the story. You can't paint all Democrats or Republicans with the same brush just because a few are idiots. And third vice chair in the county Democrat Party is NOT real high in the system, neither is vice chair of the Young Democrats. Some of you want to blame everything on either party or race.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Nov 27, 2009

    As much as I HATE probation, I don't have much problem with it in this case. The victims are just as guilty in this case. First of all, they voluntarily moved in with these people. Second, they put trust in some Satanic website and its followers. Stupid is as stupid does. And I would bet they voluntarily agreed to part of what went on. The people that pled in court today are guilty. But to what degree of guilty is my concern. Normally, I would want them put away for some time. But their victims weren't totally taken against their will.