SNOW HILL – The third of three men charged in the murder of a local woman in Pocomoke in January 2007 was sentenced this month to 10 years in jail with five years suspended after entering an Alford plea to voluntary manslaughter in December for his part in the beating death.
David K. Justice, 21, of Pocomoke, appeared in Circuit Court last Friday for a sentencing hearing after entering an Alford plea to voluntary manslaughter for his role in the beating death of Judy L. Wojcik in a rural area near Pocomoke in January 2007. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not plead guilty, but admits the state has enough evidence to convict based on the facts of the case.
Justice’s co-defendants in the case, Kendall I. Northam, 20, of Pocomoke, and Shawn Treherne, 23, of Bowie, Md., had already been tried and convicted in the case. Northam was found guilty of second-degree murder and first-degree assault and was sentenced to 30 years in jail. Treherne pleaded guilty to manslaughter for his part in the killing and was sentenced to 10 years in jail.
A Worcester County grand jury last February indicted Treherne, Justice and Northam, charging them with first-degree murder and other offenses 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 and Justice was later included.
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. Justice was arrested in connection with the case later that evening.
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, later identified as Justice, 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.
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 his manslaughter plea arrangement.