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Former cult leader Anna Young sentenced to 30 years for murder

Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 5:15 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -The State’s case against former cult leader Anna Young was heard in Alachua County criminal courts on Wednesday morning. The former leader of the House of Prayer cult is charged with second-degree homicide and manslaughter in the 1980s.

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Young’s plea of no contest was accepted by Eighth Circuit Judge Mark Moseley sending her back to prison to serve the rest of her time. She’s served 1,177 days towards her sentence so far. At 79, Young will spend the rest of her days behind bars.

“All innocent blood cries out from the ground for an answer,” said Judge Moseley.

More than three years of time-served cuts into the 15 and 30-year sentences Young will serve for the manslaughter of Katonya Jackson and the murder of Emon Harper, better known as “Baby Moses”. She originally pleaded not guilty in 2017 to starving Harper to death.

“I feel like we got justice 100%,” added John Neal, who is the older brother of Katonya Jackson. Their family was a part of the House of Prayer cult in Micanopy in the 1980s.

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“It felt good to be able to talk to Anna and let her know the damage she did,” added Neal. “My sister was a human being, she was loved. My mom loved her, I loved her and she was kind of treated like trash but we got justice today.”

Young was accused of locking Jackson in a closet and withholding medicine that led to her death in Nov. 1983.

“It feels good because this has been a long time coming. My sister was killed 38 years ago and during those 38 years, I often wondered if this day would ever come.”

Neal was joined by other members of his family and Young’s daughter, Joy Fluker who is also Baby Moses’ older sibling.

“But through all this pain and suffering. I began to learn the lessons that Moses’ memories were trying to teach me,” added Fluker. “I have a thirst to be able to help others avoid the situation.”

Fluker said watching her mother in the courtroom gave her the strength to remember the life of her brother, Baby Moses. She mentioned her non-profit, Prevent the Pain, which is meant to give other victims a shoulder to lean on if they want to speak out.

“And that’s what I want to live the rest of my life in trying to do. Try to help bring awareness to that and support those who are considering speaking up by saying listen I know what you’re going through,” added Fluker. “We’re here for you if you need counseling services, we’ll fund that.”

Young turns 80 in 2021 and will serve both sentences concurrently.

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