Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Killing Woman, Disposing of Her Body in Newark, NJ
A man who decapitated a woman in Newark, NJ has been sentenced to 15 years in state prison. The defendant, 57-year-old Newark resident James Edwards, killed 50-year-old Newark resident Pamela Davis in October 2015. Davis’ friends reported her missing to police, and authorities found her body in a garage on the 800 block of South 11th Street in Newark around one month later. According to officials, Davis’ head had been removed and her body had been wrapped in a blanket. Police never did recover Davis’ head or neck.
Friends and relatives of Davis indicated to police that Davis was connected to Edwards. Authorities stated that Davis’ death may have stemmed from a dispute between her and Edwards over $5. Newark police arrested Edwards in connection with the homicide, and Essex County prosecutors charged with numerous crimes. While the case was moving through the NJ criminal justice system, Edwards was being held at the Essex County jail in Newark, New Jersey.
Plea Deal in Newark Decapitation Case
Edwards was charged with first degree murder, but he eventually reached a plea agreement with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. In exchange for Edwards pleading guilty to a reduced charge of aggravated manslaughter, as well as a charge of desecration of human remains, Essex County prosecutors agreed to recommend that Edwards receive a sentence of just 15 years in New Jersey state prison. These kinds of plea deals are common in Essex County cases involving first degree felonies, since prosecutors don’t always want to risk a defendant beating the charges at trial and avoiding any penalty whatsoever.
Now Edwards has been officially sentenced in the case. He recently appeared in the Essex County Superior Court in Newark, where the superior court judge approved the plea agreement and sentenced Edwards to 15 years behind bars in New Jersey state prison. Since manslaughter is a violent crime covered by the NJ No Early Release Act (NERA), Edwards will be required to serve a minimum of 85 percent of his sentence before he becomes eligible for release on parole. Additionally, one factor that could complicate Edwards’ eventual release from prison is another charge he currently faces: for failure to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law. Those charges have not yet been resolved, and they could lead to further penalties for Edwards.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney About Your Manslaughter Charges in Newark, New Jersey
Were you charged with a violent crime such as murder, manslaughter, or aggravated assault in Newark, NJ? Then you need a qualified criminal defense lawyer on your side and helping you to fight the charges. Contact Newark criminal attorney Travis J. Tormey now to schedule a free initial consultation about your case.