Man arrested in Hickory slaying also charged in Charlotte double homicide

HICKORY, N.C. — Police said they arrested a second suspect connected to a murder in Hickory.

The police department said 30-year-old Steven Staples was arrested Thursday in Charlotte by U.S. Marshals. He has been charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of 23-year-old Andres Osvaldo Moscotte.

Staples was also charged Thursday in connection with a double homicide earlier this year in Charlotte. Authorities have not released any details on a possible link between the crimes.

Investigators in Hickory had already issued a warrant for first-degree murder for 22-year-old Jalen Witherspoon.

He was arrested on Jan. 26.

On Jan. 23, officers responded to a home on 22nd Street NE after a woman called 911 and said her boyfriend had been shot and wasn’t breathing.

Police found Moscotte dead in the yard.

According to investigators, Moscotte’s girlfriend told them Moscotte walked out of the home and she heard him talking to someone outside. When she looked outside, she saw Witherspoon speaking to her boyfriend.

She then heard the two men get into an altercation and locked herself in a bedroom, police said.

She told detectives she then heard at least two people enter the home. She waited for a while after hearing them leave before coming out of the bedroom and finding Moscotte lying in the front yard.

She also found that Moscotte’s 2006 black Mercedes Benz ML350 was missing from the driveway.

That stolen car was found abandoned a short time later after it was involved in a crash on D Avenue SE, about a mile away.

Investigators said in a release that it appeared the suspect knew Moscotte and targeted him for robbery.

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