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Jalen Jakee Witherspoon
WHKY file photo

Minimum Ten Year Prison Sentence Imposed In Catawba County Murder Case

A Hickory man received a minimum of a decade in prison after entering a guilty plea in connection to the shooting death of another man three years ago. During Catawba County Superior Court Wednesday (March 22), 26-year-old Jalen Jakee Witherspoon pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to second-degree murder in connection to the January 23, 2020 shooting death of 23-year-old Andres Osvaldo Moscotte.

Witherspoon was initially charged with first-degree murder, he entered the plea to the lesser charge and also pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and common-law robbery. He was sentenced to a minimum of 120 months or ten years and a maximum of 179 months or 14 years, 11 months in prison. In October, 2022, Stephen Razelle Staples pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Moscotte’s death and received 28-34 years in prison.

The men were charged in connection to an incident that occurred January 23, 2020. As WHKY previously reported, on that date, shortly after 8 p.m., Hickory Police Officers responded to a residence on 22nd Street NE. They responded to the home after receiving a 911 call from a female stating that a man at the residence had been shot and was not breathing. Upon arrival, officers found Andres Osvaldo Moscotte lying in the yard deceased from an apparent gunshot wound.

Andres Osvaldo Moscotte
WHKY file photo

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 stocky black male wearing dark clothing and a dark colored mask covering his mouth and nose speaking to Moscotte. 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. According to police reports, it appeared that the suspect was familiar with the victim and targeted him for a robbery. Witherspoon turned himself in to police on January 26, 2020.