The man accused of killing 88-year-old Lindsey Stikeleather appeared in court Thursday.
Bobby Jackson was arrested early Thursday morning and charged with murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and kidnapping in Stikeleather’s death.
Deputies found Stikeleather dead a few feet from the roadway along Eufola Road, west of Statesville, overnight.
“I've known him many years -- hard-working man, good fella. It is sad,” friend Jim Wooten said.
Wooten has known Stikeleather for much of his life. He, along with several other friends, went to Eufola Road on Thursday to remember the man who helped so many.
Investigators believe the 88-year-old was trying to help Jackson with a broken down scooter. They believe the two ended up at Stikeleather's bank in Statesville on Monday, where deputies say Jackson was able to deceive Stikeleather into withdrawing money.
Less than an hour later, Stikeleather's truck was found abandoned two miles from where deputies found his body.
They believe the robbery was planned and are calling the murder premeditated.
“Mr. Lindsey would have done anything for anybody. This individual preyed upon that,” said Major Darren Campbell with the Iredell County Sheriff's Office. “I think he targeted him. And he does have a criminal history and has served time."
Linwood Small said a family member of Lindsey Stikeleather called him Monday, asking if he'd seen him. Small said he looked across the road at one of the homes Stikeleather owned, that he once rented to Jackson.
"I called him back and said I didn't see him, didn't see nothing," said Small, from Statesville.
Thursday, he heard the news that his former neighbor was arrested for Stikeleather's murder.
"It's hard to grasp something like this," said Small.
Small said Jackson had been renting for some time, but fell behind on payments and was evicted.
One of Jackson's sisters told Eyewitness News off camera that her brother had been renting to own from Stikeleather when he fell behind on those payments. She said she can't imagine what would cause him to commit a crime like this. She said Stikeleather was a good man and that she is so sorry for his family.
Jackson said very little during a brief court appearance, in which he asked for a court-appointed attorney. He remains at the county jail without bond.