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MOUNT HOLLY, NC (WBTV) -
The man accused of killing his father made his first court appearance Monday. Jiten Patel, 28, spoke only yes and no answers to the judge. He at times seemed unsteady on his feet, closing his eyes and swaying back and forth.
The court learned Ashwin Kumar Vaghibhai Patel, 62, was shot three times in the head. Police found a letter allegedly written by Patel's son that said his father was in a better place and he (Jiten) was going to kill himself.
On Saturday, Mt Holly Police issued a warrant for Jiten Patel's arrest
Jiten Patel, who was considered armed and dangerous, was sighted driving his fathers car a Gold 2002 Toyota Camry in Gastonia. Gastonia Police and Gaston County Police pursued Patel until stopping and taking him into custody just after 12pm today at Ozark Avenue and I 85 at exit 19.
A gun was found in the car. A judge heard Monday how police think the younger Patel went to his father's business and stole money from the safe.
The reason for the shooting is not known at this time and Mt Holly police are still investigating.
Neighbors say the Patels were "good, hard working, honest people." Neighbor Paul Anderson says he received a call from Patel's wife who was visiting family in Raleigh after she couldn't reach her husband by phone. Anderson couldn't get Patel to answer the door and called police.
"We care about them [the Patels] very much and so does the rest of the neighborhood. Our hearts are with them and we will be with them every step of the way," Anderson said.
Records from the NC Department of Corrections show Jiten Patel has been charged in the past with larceny and drug possession. It appears he spent time in prison for the felony larceny charge and received community service for the possession charge.
A judge denied Patel bond. He is scheduled back in court in February.