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Steven Razelle Staples
Courtesy of Catawba County Sheriff's Office

Guilty Plea Entered In 2020 Catawba County Murder Case

A Charlotte man entered a guilty plea in connection to a fatal shooting in Catawba County in 2020. During Monday’s session of Catawba County Superior Court, 33-year old Steven Razelle Staples pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in connection to the death of 23-year-old Andres Osvaldo Moscotte on on January 23, 2020. Staples will serve a minimum of 28 years in prison.

On January 23, 2020 at approximately 8:15 p.m., Hickory Police Officers responded to a residence on 22nd Street NE after receiving a 911 call from a woman stating that a male at this residence had been shot and was not breathing. The female who identified herself as the victim’s girlfriend said that Moscotte had exited the residence and that she heard him engage in a conversation with someone outside.

She looked outside and saw a man speaking to Moscotte. The man was wearing dark clothing and a dark colored mask covering his mouth and nose. She then heard what sounded like an altercation outside and locked herself in a bedroom in the residence. She then heard at least two people enter the residence.

She waited a brief time after the people left the residence before coming out of the bedroom, at that time she discovered Moscotte lying in the front yard. She also discovered that Moscotte’s 2006 Black Mercedes Benz ML350 was missing from the driveway. The victim’s vehicle was found unoccupied a short time later as a result of a single car accident in the 1000 block of D Avenue SE.

Staples has four murder charges pending in Mecklenburg County as well. All five murder charges, including the one from Catawba County, stem from deaths that occurred between December 2019 and January 2020, according to court documents. In addition to Staples video evidence identified Staples and another suspect, Jalen Jakee Witherspoon, who is also charged with murder.

Jalen Jakee Witherspoon
WHKY file photo

Witherspoon, who is not listed as an inmate in Catawba County, is scheduled to appear in Catawba County Superior Court on November 28.

[Some information for this story courtesy of Rick Gilbert, WACB]