The four men charged in connection with the shooting death of a Rowan County volunteer firefighter made their first court appearance since the charges were upgraded Friday.
Khari McClelland, Jaylend Turner, Tramel Hart and Michael Teasley were not in the courtroom Monday.
They appeared through video conferencing from jail, but some of their family members were in the courtroom to hear what the judge had to say.
They declined a request for comment about the charges the men face.
Jaylend Turner's family broke down into tears when a judge appointed his attorney.
McClelland and Turner have now been charged with first-degree murder since Kauffman's death on Friday.
Kauffman's family decided to take him off life support after being under a doctor's watch for nearly three weeks.
Deputies said McClelland and Turner broke into Marco Kauffman's home on Chevault Road in Woodleaf on
According to authorities, McClelland shot Kauffman in the head when Kauffman returned home and interrupted the burglary.
Michael Teasley and Tramel Hart also appeared before the judge.
They've been charged as accessories to first-degree murder.
None of Kauffman's family was in court.
The Fire Department is holding a chicken dinner from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 17 and Jan. 18 to raise money for Kauffman's family.
People are asked to preorder a plate that includes barbecue chicken, sides and a dessert. Plates are $8. People can preorder by calling the fire department at 704-431-2559.
Kauffman's church has also opened a fund to help support Kauffman's wife and baby.
The church said people can mail checks with "Benevolence" in the memo to:
Cleveland Believers Fellowship
3700 South River Church Road
Woodleaf, NC 27054
- Dec. 20: Rowan Co. volunteer firefighter shot in head dies
- Dec. 19: Family: Doctors to check brain activity
- Dec. 11: Gun stolen from home of firefighter who was shot recovered
- Dec. 9: Suspected shooter of volunteer firefighter makes first court appearance
- Dec. 6: Two arrested in Rowan Co. shooting of firefighter