Pierce County man accused of killing 2 roommates ordered held

TACOMA — A Tacoma-area man suspected of beating two roommates to death with a pipe has been ordered held without bail.

A Pierce County Superior Court judge on Monday ordered Richard Atkisson, 40, detained for 72 hours on a fugitive warrant out of California, where he has been charged with a sex offense.

Sheriff’s detectives are investigating Sunday’s double homicide in a Spanaway home.

According to a court document, Atkisson says he observed what he described as his roommates’ “grooming behavior” toward boys. He told police he decided to kill them.

Court papers say Atkisson told detectives he used a pipe to beat one roommate and later placed a bag over his head until he stopped breathing. He used the same pipe to kill the other roommate.

The Pierce County medical examiner identified the victims as 20-year-old Michael Henderson and 66-year-old Joseph Moisa. The medical examiner’s office says both men suffered blunt force injuries and Moisa also suffered asphyxiation. Henderson also had neck compression.

A deputy verifying the address of a sexual offender at the home discovered the bodies.

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