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Double murder suspect/child rapist claims his roommates were thinking of grooming boys

Posted in Related Deaths
8-18-2014 Washington:

TACOMA — A child rapist from California allegedly admitted killing his two roommates in their Spanaway-area home Sunday, telling police he suspected they were interested in grooming young boys for sex, according to court documents released Monday.

Richard Atkisson, 40, appeared in Pierce County Superior Court Monday. He was ordered held in the county jail without bail while deputies continue investigating the murders. He is wanted in California on $50,000 arrest warrant for a sex charge, the documents state.

Court documents say Atkisson used a pipe Sunday to beat both Joseph Moisa, 60, a registered sex offender, and Michael Henderson, 20, inside the Spanaway-area home he had shared with them for the past year.

Henderson died after Atkisson allegedly forced him to his knees and continued beating him. Moisa didn’t die from the beating, according to the documents, so Atkisson used a plastic bag over his head to suffocate him.

“I think it’s honestly pretty sick,” said neighbor Tomica Powell.

Atkisson is also listed in the California database of sex offenders, as having been convicted of raping a person under the age of 14. Sources told Q13 FOX News he admitted to detectives that he had raped a young girl for which he served time in prison.

According to court documents, Atkisson told detectives he killed the two after they tried to get him to bring his son to Washington from California.

Tomica Powell and her husband both know the suspect. Jeremy Powell said he would come over to the mobile home where Atkisson lived to get tattoos.

“I knew him good enough to where I thought he was a good guy,” said Jeremy Powell.

Police discovered the gruesome scene early Sunday morning during a sex-offender registry check on Moisa. Instead, officers found two men dead, covered in blood.

“Honestly, I honestly thought he just went crazy, snapped, and decided to go after the old man because of drugs or something like that,” said Tomica Powell.

What’s even more troubling is that Atkission allegedly told police he killed his roommates because he believed they were grooming young boys.

“That’s a whole other story,” said Tomica Powell.

Sunday afternoon, Tacoma police found Atkisson near 96th and Pacific in a car associated with the home where the bodies were found. Atkisson was arrested at that time. ..Source.. by Q13 FOX News Staff and Steve Kiggins

Fugitive sex offender could face death penalty in killing of two Pierce County men


A fugitive sex offender from California faces a possible death sentence in Washington after being charged with the state’s highest crime in the beating deaths of his two Pierce County roommates over the weekend.

Not guilty pleas were entered Wednesday on behalf of Richard Earl Atkisson, 40, to two counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the deaths of Joseph Moisa, 66, and Michael Henderson, 20.

Superior Court Judge Phil Sorensen ordered Atkisson held without bail.

Deputy prosecutor Jared Ausserer notified Atkisson and his attorneys that Prosecutor Mark Lindquist is considering whether to seek the death penalty for Atkisson if he is convicted as charged.

Under state law, the prosecutor has 30 days to make such a decision, unless, as is usually the case, a judge extends the deadline to allow defense attorneys more time to compile a mitigation package arguing for life in prison instead.

Atkisson was arrested Sunday after a Pierce County sheriff’s deputy verifying the addresses of local sex offenders found Moisa and Henderson dead inside a home in the 7700 block of 200th Street East, which is in the Frederickson area.

Deputies later found Atkisson in another part of the county standing near Moisa’s car, court records show. Atkisson had Moisa’s ID card in his pocket, the records state.

Atkisson, who was being sought on a warrant for failing to register as a sex offender in California, allegedly admitted to detectives that he killed the men.

“He said that he thought about it and planned it for about a day, and then he killed them the following day,” Ausserer wrote in a declaration of probable cause. “The defendant told the detectives he saw Mr. Moisa developing sexual relationships with young men, and he could not handle it.”

Sheriff’s officials have said authorities have no information that Moisa or Henderson were grooming boys for sex.

Moisa had a conviction for a sex offense, also from California, but detectives had no information he was committing sex crimes in Pierce County. It was his address the original deputy was verifying Sunday.

Atkisson told detectives he attacked Moisa while the he slept and then attacked Henderson when he heard the commotion and entered Moisa’s bedroom to see what was going on, court records show. ..Source.. by Adam Lynn

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