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Child rapist accused of killing two men faces aggravated murder charges

Richard Atkisson

Richard Atkisson, 40, appears in Pierce County Superior Court Monday after both of his roommates was found slain in their home near Spanaway. A child rapist who is also wanted as a fugitive from California, Atkisson was ordered held without bail. (Photo: KCPQ-TV)

TACOMA — A child rapist from California is now charged with murder — accused of killing his two roommates in their Spanaway-area home Sunday.

Richard Atkisson, 40, told police he suspected they were interested in grooming young boys for sex, according to court documents.

Atkisson now faces two counts of aggravated first-degree murder. If found guilty, the only possible sentences are life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty. He remains in jail without bail until his trial.

Court documents say Atkisson used a pipe Sunday to beat both Joseph Moisa, 66, 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.

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.

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.

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.

Atkisson is also wanted in California on $50,000 arrest warrant for a sex charge, the documents state.

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