SNOW HILL – The first of three men charged in the murder of a local woman in Pocomoke in January 2007 was sentenced yesterday to 30 years in jail after a Worcester County jury in October found him guilty of second-degree murder and first-degree assault.
Worcester County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Groton yesterday sentenced Kendall I. Northam, 20, of Pocomoke, to 30 years in jail for his role in the beating death of Judy L. Wojcik in a rural area near Pocomoke last Jan. 13. Last month, a Worcester County jury found Northam guilty of second-degree murder and first-degree assault after a two-day trial in Snow Hill and he returned to court yesterday to face sentencing.
A Worcester County grand jury last February indicted 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, whose body was found by trappers in a rural area near Pocomoke last January. The state medical examiner later 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 and drugs. 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.
In October, Treherne pleaded guilty to manslaughter for his role in the crime and his sentence was deferred pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation. Meanwhile, Justice cut his own deal in the case by providing prosecutors with more information about Treherne’s role in the death of Wojcik, but has not gone to trial. His trial is set for Dec. 18.