- Associated Press - Thursday, August 21, 2014

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - Pierce County prosecutors have charged a 40-year-old man with two counts of first-degree aggravated murder in the beating deaths of his two roommates at their Spanaway, Washington, home.

The News Tribune reports (https://is.gd/l1LOyC) that not guilty pleas were entered Wednesday on Richard Atkisson’s behalf at his arraignment. He was ordered held without bail.

An aggravated murder conviction in Washington in punishable by death or life without parole. The prosecutor has 30 days to decide whether to pursue the death penalty.

The victims were 20-year-old Michael Henderson and 66-year-old Joseph Moisa.

The prosecutor’s office says a Pierce County sheriff’s deputy went to Moisa’s Spanaway home last Sunday to confirm the sex offender was living at his registered address. The door was open and the deputy found Moisa’s beaten body inside. Henderson’s body was also found.

Prosecutors say Atkisson, too, is a convicted sex offender. He had been sought on a felony warrant out of Tulare County, California, for violating his supervision.

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