Nicholas Welch pleaded ‘not guilty’ at his arraignment this morning regarding the off-campus house party shooting that killed sophomore Jessica Moore and injured 2 other Seton Hall students.
In a brief court appearance, Welch answered honorable judge Peter J. Vasquez’s questions regarding the charges with just “yes” responses.
The defendant is being charged with murder, four counts of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and burglary.
Welch’s attorney, Gerald Saluti, entered his client’s plea.
Saluti is also expected to file a motion to reduce bail for his client. Bail was initially set a $2 million, as reported by The Setonian on Sept. 27.
The Essex County Prosecutor’s office filed a motion to obtain Welch’s DNA.
According to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert Laurino, investigator’s obtained a blood sample left at the scene.
According to Saluti, he was retained last night by the defendant and only spoken to him for approximately 30 minutes this morning.
Jessica Moore’s family was present in the courtroom for the hearing.
Also present were the mother of Welch’s two children and his cousin.
Laurino continues to ask the public for assistance in capturing the Welch’s believed accomplice, Marcus Bascus.
Laurino stated that U.S. Marshals are now involved in the search.
The Setonian will have full coverage of this event online and in this week’s print edition.
Tim LeCras can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.