Local News

Three women pick up fresh charges in Durham cult murders

Posted August 22, 2012 9:59 p.m. EDT
Updated August 22, 2012 10:29 p.m. EDT

— A grand jury handed down additional indictments Wednesday for three women charged in the shooting deaths of a 28-year-old woman and a 4-year-old boy in Durham that prosecutors say were orchestrated by suspected cult leader Pete Moses. 

Vania Rae Sisk, Lavada Quinzetta Harris and LaRhonda Renee Smith now face first-degree kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder charges in the 2010 slayings.

Prosecutors say the three women beat Antoinetta McKoy in a bathroom of a home on Pear Tree Lane while religious music played before Sisk shot and killed her. Moses wanted McKoy killed when he learned she couldn't have children and wanted to leave the group.

The women each face one count of first-degree murder in that case.

They also face accessory after the fact to first-degree murder charges in the death of Sisk's son, Jadon Higganbothan. Prosecutors say Moses killed the boy because he showed signs of being gay.

Moses pleaded guilty to both murders in June. Prosecutors say he led a religious sect called the Black Hebrews and that Sisk, Harris and Smith were members.

Family members deny those claims.