SNOW HILL – The third of three man charged in the murder of a local woman in Pocomoke in January 2007 last week pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and now awaits his sentencing
David K. Justice, 20, of Pocomoke appeared in Worcester County Circuit Court last week to face charges of first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault and other charges for his role in the beating death of Judy L. Wojcik in a rural area near Pocomoke last January 13. Justice pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, but his sentence was deferred pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation.
Justice’s co-defendants in the murder case, Kendall I. Northam, 20, of Pocomoke, and Shawn Treherne, 23, of Bowie, Md., have already been tried in the case. Northam was found guilty of second-degree murder and first-degree assault after a two-day trial earlier this fall and was sentenced to 30 years in jail. Treherne also pleaded guilty to manslaughter and awaits his fate pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation.
A Worcester County grand jury last February indicted Northam, Treherne and Justice 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.
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.
From the beginning, each of the defendants provided information to police about the other two in an effort to get a softer sentence. Justice cut his own deal in the case by providing prosecutors with more information about Treherne’s role in the death of Wojcik, which facilitated the manslaughter plea arrangement.