Judge sets bail in Durham double homicide

Woman of slain son faces murder charge

Staff WriterAugust 3, 2011 

— A judge set bail Tuesday for two suspects in the deaths of a 5-year-old boy and woman whose bodies were unearthed in the yard of an East Durham house in June.

The pair had previously been held in the Durham County jail without bail.

Judge Jim Hardin set bail at $500,000 for P. Leonard Moses, who is charged with accessory after the fact to first-degree murder in the death of Antoinetta McKoy, 28.

He is the brother of Pete Lucas Moses Jr., who is accused of murdering Jadon Higganbothan and ordering the boy's mother, Vania Sisk, to shoot McKoy.

Investigators found Higganbothan's remains June 9 at the same house where McKoy's body was found the previous day. Police say the two were victims of the Black Hebrews, a small religious cult led by Pete Lucas Moses Jr.

P. Leonard Moses did not assist his brother in hiding a body or a gun, and he answered questions from police, his attorney Chris Shella said in arguing for bail.

During a family gathering, Pete Lucas Moses Jr. showed family members, including P. Leonard Moses, the body of McKoy, which was being kept in a garbage can in the garage, said Dale Morrill, assistant district attorney.

He also helped his brother by lying to police officers when they came looking for Pete Lucas Moses and helped him move to Colorado in February, Morrill said.

"Seeing a body does not equal the same as knowing there was a murder," Shella said.

Sisk, who is charged with murder in the shooting of McKoy, also appeared before Hardin on Tuesday.

The judge set a combined bail for her of $1 million on the murder charge and a charge of accessory after the fact to the murder of Jadon, her son.

She had previously been held without bail on the murder charge and $100,000 on the accessory after the fact charge.

Sisk's attorney asked Hardin to consider Sisk's pregnancy, her three children's custody hearings, her employment history and her lack of a criminal record as reasons to set one combined bail amount.

Sisk, 26, is due to give birth in December. Pete Lucas Moses Jr. fathered three of her children but was not the biological father of Jadon.

Sisk had told investigators that she had left her son with an acquaintance in Durham on Feb. 20.

She turned herself in to Durham police June 9. Six other people, including Pete Lucas Moses Jr. and P. Leonard Moses, also were charged in connection with McKoy's slaying.

District Attorney Tracey Cline said in court Tuesday that Sisk is a danger to the community.

Sisk did not help her son when Moses took him to the garage and shot him in the left side of his head, and she shot McKoy, Cline said.

lanadouglas@newsobserver.com or 919-932-2008

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