MURDER USA: James Joyce Jr. Dead, One Dying in Holiday Affray

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MURDER USA: One Dead, One Dying in Holiday Affray

SALISBURY, MD. —    The holiday murders are beginning to pile up around the newsroom as the region’s residents pour down the booze, shoot up the heroin and smoke that dandy old reliable crack cocaine. This latest story to add to the annals of murder history in Maryland memories comes from Salisbury, a busy city on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.    Maryland State Police reported on Dec. 27, 2016, that they are searching for the suspect or suspects responsible for the murder of one man and shooting of a woman in Wicomico County on Dec. 26, 2016.

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Police identified the victim was identified as James Edward Joyce, Jr., 31, of 707 Baker Street, Apt. 1, Salisbury, Md.  He was pronounced dead while in route to Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

Police say the second victim is Hilda Barkley, 56, of Salisbury, Md. She sustained at least one gunshot wound and continued to receive medical treatment at Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

The preliminary information indicates one or more suspects, were involved.  Investigators from the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit and the Salisbury City Police Department are working to obtain additional information.

Just after 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 26, 2016, police officers from the Salisbury City Police Department were flagged down in the area of the 700 block of Baker Street in Salisbury by an individual who was in the neighborhood at the time. He advised police about an apparent shooting of two victims inside a nearby apartment on Baker Street.

The Salisbury City Police Department called the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit to lead the investigation.  Once investigators arrived, it was apparent the shooting took place inside the apartment.  Investigators do not know if the victim was the intended target of the suspect.

State Police investigators worked throughout the night and are actively continuing their investigation today.  Additional assistance is being provided by the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division and the Salisbury City Police Department.

Anyone with information about this shooting is urged to contact Crime Solvers of the Lower Eastern Shore at 410-548-1776. Callers may remain confidential.

A Domestic Violence order was filed by a family member and issued by a District Court Judge in Wicomico County on July 5, 2013, against James Edward Joyce Jr.

Joyce was arrested by a Wicomico County Sheriff’s Deputy on Dec. 3, 2003, and charged with disrupting and disturbing school operations and assault. With a taxpayer-provided lawyer from the public defender’s office, Joyce was able to enter into a plea bargain with the Wicomico County States Attorney and all of the charges were put on the Stet Docket with no fine and no time.

Court records indicated that Joyce drove on a suspended driver’s license for more than a decade. His last and final trip, to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, will have another driver at the wheel. Hopefully, that driver will have a valid permit and insurance.

Hilda Georgette Barkley, who lives in the apartment next door to Joyce, entered a guilty plea to possession of drugs on April 28, 2016. She entered into the plea deal with the Wicomico County States Attorney and was sent to jail for three months which was suspended, fined $200.00 and put on probation until April 28, 2017. With a violation of her parole hearing has been set for Feb. 14, (Valentine’s Day) 2017, in Wicomico District Court.

Barkley was charged with assault by Salisbury Police Officer Story on June 17, 2014, and in a plea bargain with the Wicomico States Attorney, she was given Probation Before Judgement with unsupervised probation.

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