A Hickory man charged with murder made his first appearance in court on Monday.
Jalen Jakee Witherspoon, 24, is facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of 23-year-old Andres Moscotte, who was killed last Thursday in Hickory.
Witherspoon appeared before Judge Richard Holloway along with his provisional attorney Victoria Jayne. Witherspoon requested an appointed attorney during his brief time before the judge. His next appearance in court is scheduled for Feb. 17.
Family and supporters of both Moscotte and Witherspoon were present in court.
Josue Moscotte, the older brother of Andres Moscotte, said the evidence will speak for itself and justice will be done in the case. “Everybody is going to see it,” Josue Moscotte said. “Everybody is going to know who my brother was and the good he did in the community and we’ll see from there.”
Josue Moscotte said his brother was always willing to sacrifice for others. “He put himself out there to help anybody possible whether it was mentally, financially,” Josue Moscotte said.
Family, friends and other supporters of Andres Moscotte filled up two rows of seats in the courtroom. On Friday, more than two dozen of Andres Moscotte’s friends and loved ones gathered at his home in the pouring rain to honor him.
Witherspoon had family in the courtroom, as well. Witherspoon’s mother, Amanda Steptoe, said her son did not kill Moscotte.
“He wouldn’t hurt a fly but they need to find the other people who are involved because my son did not kill nobody,” Steptoe said.
There were signs of tension between the loved ones of Moscotte and Witherspoon.
Following a request from Assistant District Attorney Amber Eades, Holloway told the family members and supporters of Witherspoon to remain in the courtroom to give the victim’s family and loved ones time to leave the courthouse grounds.