GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY - A murder suspect in a Greenville shooting told a judge Friday morning that he is innocent, and that the victim is his best friend.
Moses Pittman, 34, has been charged with an open county of murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon in the death of 34-year-old Ronnie Chapman.
Officers discovered Chapman's body after 3:45 p.m. Wednesday in a pickup truck in the parking lot of the Arlington Square apartment complex, police said. The scene is on the 2700 block of Mulberry Lane.
But during Pittman's first court appearance Friday, he said he was not involved in Chapman's death.
"Ronnie Chapman was my best friend. I ain't kill nobody. I ain't rob nobody," Pittman said.
Orange Blow is Pittman's uncle and lived across the street from him while he was growing up. He told NewsChannel 12 Pittman was for the most part a good kid.
"I always thought they was obedient. Their mother did try to do a good job of raising them. But I never knew that he would get involved in something like this," he said.
Blow said his nephew has had his fair share of troubles. Like the victim, Pittman has a lengthy criminal past, including drug trafficking. According to public records, he was just released from prison the end of 2012. But despite his past, Blow said he's not convinced his nephew is guilty.
"I don't think he may have did this. But until somebody comes forward, he's just gonna have to be charged with it. I really hate it for the family's sake," Blow said.
Pittman faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole if convicted of murder. He faces up to 17 years in prison for the armed robbery charge.
Pittman was being held under a $2.1 million bond at the Pitt County Detention Center.
Pittman was arrested Thursday morning, said Greenville Police Chief Hassan Aden, who added that more arrests are possible. The shooting may have been related to narcotics, Aden said.
Witnesses told police they saw an altercation before shots were fired. When officers arrived, they found Chapman dead in the driver's side of the pickup, according to investigators.
- Man arrested in fatal stabbing of 2 nuns in Mississippi
- Italy earthquake: A country in mourning begins burying the dead
- Updated Amid Zika fears, Florida theme parks offer mosquito repellent
- New Vandemere Waterfront Park reopens five years after Hurricane Irene destruction
- Stand Up Outfitters 5th annual Colonial paddle board race