The death of a 27-year-old Grandview nurse, who was at the center of a disturbing story of group sexual assault and murder, is coming into focus in her neighborhood.
Bethany Deaton moved to Grandview from Texas. She was described in her obituary as brilliant, compassionate, fiercely loyal and committed to her faith. But somehow she was killed because of what she might tell.
"It's just a scary thing. I mean, I know crime is everywhere, and you can't really get away from it, but to know that it is two houses down from you, that is just beyond me," neighbor Allyson Piggie said.
Deaton lived with her husband and several male roommates. One of them, 23-year-old Micah Moore, admitted to Grandview police Friday that he killed Deaton.
He said he did it to cover up the sexual assaults that he and other roommates had been doing for months.
Moore told police he took Deaton to Longview Lake on Oct. 30 and held a plastic bag over her head "until her body shook."
It was originally framed as a suicide. A note investigators found with her body said, "My name is Bethany Deaton. I chose this evil thing. I did it because I wouldn't be a real person and what is the point of living if it is too late for that?"
But the truth appears to go much deeper.
Several of the men living in the home also told detectives they were involved in a "sexual group," having sex with each other, and that it was part of a "religious experience."
Neighbors say there was always a crowd at the house.
"We would come home and there would be cars lined up all outside," neighbor Cashsha Jennings said.
Neighbors assumed it was Bible study. The group all worshipped together at the International House of Prayer, but church members say this was an isolated group that does not reflect on the whole church.
Roommates described Deaton's husband as their "spiritual leader," and said he was manipulative and controlling over the group.
Moore also told detectives that someone else told him to kill Deaton and that he reported back to that person after killing her. That person's name was blacked out in court records.
Roommates also said that Deaton's husband was "angry" and "frustrated" in the weeks leading up to her death, and that three days after she died, the husband said he'd had a dream that he killed his wife by suffocating her.
No one answered the door at Deaton's Grandview home to comment.
Moore faces a charge of first-degree murder. Prosecutors requested a bond of $500,000 and said there could be more charges coming in the case.
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3933 Washington Road
Augusta, GA 30907