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Man says ‘The Holy Spirit’ told him to kill adopted mom after he decapitated her

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Lionel Gore (Northern Regional Jail)


Mariah Rush

The Charlotte Observer

A 34-year-old Ohio man is facing charges on accusations of killing his adopted mother and setting her home on fire, police said.

According to an affidavit from Detective Sgt. Scott Smeeks of The Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Lionel Gore told officers he’d killed his adopted mother because “the Holy Spirit told him to do it and that she was the devil.”

The sheriff’s office said it received an emergency call on the evening of Nov. 5 about a fire at a residence in New Matamoras, near the state’s border with West Virginia. Deputies responded to the home of Diane Gore, and met with Diane Gore’s sister, the affidavit said.

The woman’s sister said that when she arrived, Lionel Gore, Diane Gore’s adopted son, came out of the home “covered in blood,” and said, “Get out of the way or I’ll kill you next,” according to the affidavit. He then drove away, the sister told officers, adding that she tried to enter the home, but the blaze inside stopped her.

According to the affidavit, deputies spoke with Lionel Gore’s 6-year-old nephew, who said he saw Lionel Gore “sawing at [Diane Gore’s] neck” with a knife. The boy allegedly said Lionel Gore soon gave up on the first knife, and found a larger one. He also said Lionel set the house on fire, leaving the boy to “crawl out,” the affidavit said.

The fire department located a body in the master bedroom of the home, the affidavit said, and a severed head was recovered along with the body.

The sheriff’s office said it got into a car chase with Lionel Gore as he tried to escape, and took him into custody after he hit two officers’ vehicles. He was then taken to a local hospital, where he was interviewed by detectives, the affidavit said.

According to the affidavit, Lionel Gore told the officers, “I cut her head off and set her on fire,” saying he did it because the Holy Spirit told him to do it and that she was the devil.

Lionel Gore was then taken to jail for the charges coming from the car chase, the affidavit said.

©2021 The Charlotte Observer. Visit charlotteobserver.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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