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Judge denies bond to 18-year-old satanic cult leader

On Sundays, Grant Boyette could be found in his neighborhood Baptist church where he was known as a quiet, kind person. Other days, an investigator said, he was leading secret meetings of a satanic cult.

Boyette, charged with being the mastermind in a shooting spree Oct. 1 at Pearl High School, sat hunched over a courtroom desk Tuesday as prosecutors offered the first glimpse of evidence in the murder conspiracy case against him.Contrasting testimony from witnesses such as Boyette's former Sunday school teacher and a friend who said Boyette, 18, prayed to Satan for power "prove to this court that Grant Boyette apparently lives two completely different lives," Judge Kent McDaniel said in denying bond.

Rumors of a satanic cult had circulated in Pearl, a town of 22,000, ever since Boyette and five other teens were arrested on conspiracy charges Oct. 7. Tuesday's hearing was the first time authorities confirmed that they had found evidence of such activity.

The six arrests came nearly a week after Luke Woodham, 16, was charged with stabbing his mother to death, then fatally shooting two students - including his former girlfriend - and wounding seven others.

Investigator Greg Eklund portrayed Boyette as the undisputed leader of a group named "Kroth" that plotted to kill students over a 10-month period.

Boyette, who called himself "father," urged Woodham to kill his former girlfriend and encouraged another member, 17-year-old Donald Brooks, to poison his father for a disagreement over buying a computer, Eklund said at the preliminary hearing.