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Some charges dropped against suspect in Durham slayings

Posted July 6, 2011
Updated October 18, 2011

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— Four charges were dismissed Wednesday against a Durham man suspected of killing a woman and a boy and burying their remains behind his mother's house.

Peter Lucas Moses, 27, still faces two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Jadon Higganbothan, 5, and Antoinetta Yvonne McKoy, 28.

Jadon was last seen in October, and McKoy had been missing since December. Their remains were found buried last month at 2622 Ashe St., where Moses' mother lived until early this year.

Durham County prosecutors on Wednesday dismissed charges of second-degree kidnapping, assault on a female, assault by pointing a gun and communicating threats against Moses. Those charges stemmed from an incident in which a 16-year-old said Moses kidnapped her, hit her several times, pointed a semi-automatic gun at her and threatened to kill her.

There was no immediate word on why the charges were dropped.

Seven suspects in Durham murders of woman, boy move through court system 'Black Hebrews' murder suspects move through court system

An informant told Durham police in February that Jadon and McKoy were killed inside a home at 2109 Pear Tree Lane, and their bodies were disposed of.

Moses lived at the Pear Tree Lane home with Vania Rae Sisk, 25, who is Jadon's mother, Lavada Quinzetta Harris, 40, Larhonda Renee Smith, 27, and McKoy.

All three women have been indicted on murder charges in McKoy's death and as accessories after the fact of murder in Jadon's death.

All three appeared in court Wednesday, but their attorneys asked that any bond hearings be delayed to give them more time to review the case.

Smith is 6½ months pregnant, her attorney said. Durham County District Attorney Tracey Cline said some of the women's other children could become witnesses in the case.

Moses' mother, Sheilda Evelyn Harris, 56, and two siblings, P. Leonard Moses, 21, and Sheila Falisha Moses, 20, have been indicted as accessories after the fact of murder in McKoy's death.

All three are expected to make court appearances Thursday, while Pete Moses has a hearing scheduled Friday at which prosecutors could decide whether to seek the death penalty against him.

Police repeatedly searched the Pear Tree Lane house early this year, and a search warrant states that they found a bullet, shell casing and evidence of human blood and "overt cleaning" inside.

A court document has linked members of the group with the Black Hebrews, a religious sect that believes it descends directly from the ancient tribes of Israel. Members of the Moses family have denied any link to the sect.

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  • tvmlcg11 Jul 7, 2011

    I hope this man and all his affliates in this case are found guilty and given the most severe harsh punishment by law. I have never understood why would someone want to be a part of a sect. Is your self esteem that low? How can you just up and follow a fool for a leader? Better yet, how can any woman want to share a man knowingly with a house full of other women, have babies, be confined and commit murder. A sick woman. How can a woman, a mother murder or take part in the murder of her own child? Do you know how many women that can't bear children and you are out here killing them? Hell is just the beginning for Moses and his crew. The young lady who finally saw the light and tried to get out, I pray that your soul is at peace. May the little boy who never stood a chance in this sect, spread his wings with all the other angels that surround him. You are safe now and forever.

  • parcman Jul 6, 2011

    cj speaks..are you ok?

  • cjspeaks Jul 6, 2011

    @ Cariannestanley Ape??? Really?? WOW 2011 and we are still looking at Black men as Apes? Reading is is VERY IMPORTANT!!!! They are not dropping the Murder Charges that are against him. How dare you compare him to Casey Anthony? Of Course we know that "JUSTICE as you called it, will be very different for the man. Micheal Vick goes to jail for his involvement of Dogs and Casey Kills as child, lied about it and will soon walk free! So we know that you can NEVER compare anyone to Casey Anthony!

  • sammyg Jul 6, 2011

    I thought NC had a moritorium on the death penalty. Did that get lifted?

  • Lead by Example Jul 6, 2011

    So is the Durham County D.A. going to seek the death penalty in this case or not? That is what I want to know, and I hope it is actually pursued for once in this county.

  • fishon Jul 6, 2011

    Those charges stemmed from an incident in which a 16-year-old said Moses kidnapped her, hit her several times, pointed a semi-automatic gun at her and threatened to kill her.

    There was no immediate word on why the charges were dropped.

    Someone threatened her or her family?