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Black Hebrews Sect Leader Kills 4-Year-Old Because He Thought Boy Was Gay

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File photo of a courtroom. (credit: Getty Images/Joe Raedle)

File photo of a courtroom. (credit: Getty Images/Joe Raedle)

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DURHAM, N.C. (CBS Charlotte/AP) — The leader of a Durham polygamist group has admitted murdering his ex-girlfriend and a young boy.

Peter Lucas Moses pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 4-year-old Jadon Higganbothan and 28-year-old Antoinetta Yvonne McKoy.

The plea will allow the 27-year-old Moses to avoid the death penalty in exchange for his testimony against others charged, including his mother, brother and sister. Higganbothan’s mother is also charged.

Prosecutors say Moses shot the boy because he thought he was gay and then killed McKoy because he feared she would tell police. Their bodies were buried in plastic bags behind a Durham house.

Moses was a member of a religious sect known as the Black Hebrews, which believes it descends directly from the ancient tribes of Israel. He was known as “Lord” within the group, WRAL-TV reports.

Jamiel Higganbothan, Jadon’s father and McKoy’s ex-husband, wanted the death penalty for Moses.

“Me and my family wanted the death penalty,” Higganbothan told WRAL. “I’m really not OK with it at all.”

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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