SNOW HILL – The first of three men charged in the murder of a local woman in Pocomoke in January 2007 was found guilty by a Worcester County Circuit Court jury last week.
At the conclusion of a two-day trial in Snow Hill last Friday, the jury found Kendall I. Northam, 20, of Pocomoke, guilty of second-degree murder and first-degree assault for his part in the beating death of Judy L. Wojcik, who was 41 at the time of her death, in Pocomoke last Jan. 13. Sentencing was deferred pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation, which could take several weeks to complete. The maximum penalty for the second-degree murder charge is 30 years in prison, while the first-degree assault charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years.
A Worcester County grand jury in February handed down indictments against Northam and his co-defendants, Shawn Treherne, 23, of Bowie, Md., and David K. Justice, 20, of Pocomoke, charging them with first-degree murder and other charges related to the beating death of Wojcik. Wojcik’s body was found in a wooded area near New Bridge Rd. in Pocomoke around 8:45 a.m. on Jan. 13 and the three suspects were identified and taken into custody about 10 days later.
Around 8:45 a.m. on Jan. 13, Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies and detectives from the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) responded to New Bridge Rd. in Pocomoke for a reported homicide and found Wojcik’s body in a wooded area. The state medical examiner determined Wojcik died of numerous injuries consistent with blunt force trauma to the head, neck, back and arms.
Early on in the investigation, detectives identified Treherne and Northam as suspects, but it was not until later that they started to believe Justice was involved. On Jan. 23, police arrested Northam after a short chase and Treherne was taken into custody with the help of U.S. Marshals and the Prince George’s County Criminal Task Force near Bowie, Md. Later that evening, Justice was arrested in connection with the case.
According to court records, a concerned witness told detectives he allegedly spoke to Northam shortly after the murder was reported to the police and that Northam said himself, Treherne and another man picked up Wojcik and drove her to a wooded area where she was to perform sex acts for money.
According to court documents, Northam allegedly told the witness a disagreement arose for some reason at which time they beat and kicked Wojcik and left her in the wooded area. Northam also allegedly told the witness the three men retrieved the money they had given the victim by going through her pockets.
Treherne has a pre-trial conference scheduled for Oct. 14 with a two-day trial set in for Oct 15-16. Davis is set to appear for trial on Oct. 21.