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Man Killed in Strange Scheme to Gain Child Custody

By Tanya Roth, Esq. on July 16, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Divorce and custody battles are so painful, they can almost kill you. In this case, the fight over custody of a child did actually result in the death of one parent. In a sad and twisted plan to gain child custody of his son, 20-year-old Dwayne Lamont Moten was shot and killed by his friend.

According to, Dwayne Moten had lost the fight over custody of his 3-year-old son Dwayne Jr. Moten planned to get his child back by having friend, and now murder suspect, Jacob Wheeler shoot and injure him. According to police, the two then hoped to pin the shooting on Moten's ex-wife's boyfriend, thus regaining custody of the child. Unfortunately, Wheeler was either a much better or much worse shot than either man planned.

FOX reports that by the time police arrived, Moten had been shot multiple times. "Only thing we seen was this young man stopped in the middle of the street, and he got out hollering, 'Man, I been shot. Somebody help me,'" said witness Michael Brown. "When he hit the ground there was no more conversation going." Brown said he did what he could to help.

Moten died from his gunshot wounds a short time later.

Jacob Wheeler is charged with murder and for an unrelated aggravated robbery charge. He is still in jail on a $750,000 bond. According to police, both Wheeler and Moten had a "criminal history" and had previously been convicted of felonies.

"There's legal ways to get custody of a child and taking a bullet, and ultimately dying, is definitely not one of those ways," Sr. Cpl. Kevin Janse told FOX.

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