Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a Willingboro man has been indicted for Murder in the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old woman inside her Lenola Road apartment in Maple Shade early last year.
A grand jury indicted Semaj T. Pittman, 22, on charges of Murder (First Degree), Conspiracy to Commit Robbery (First Degree), Robbery (First Degree), Aggravated Assault (Second Degree), Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Second Degree), Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Second Degree), and Certain Persons Not to Possess a Weapon (Second Degree).
The indictment was returned August 5 and signed by Prosecutor Coffina. An arraignment will be held soon in Superior Court. Pittman was charged with the crime in May 2021 and served with the warrant inside the Burlington County Jail, where he was already lodged on unrelated charges.
A teenager from Evesham Township who was charged along with Pittman has pled guilty to Murder (First Degree). Under New Jersey law, his name must be withheld because he was a juvenile at the time the offense was committed.
The investigation began on the afternoon of February 23, 2020, after Maple Shade police officers were called to The Arbors apartment complex for a report of a shooting. Upon arrival, they found a man and a woman with gunshot wounds coming out of the elevator on the ground floor.
Both victims were transported to Cooper University Medical Center in Camden, where the woman, Kayla Winkler, was pronounced dead. Her boyfriend, Ramek Bass of Philadelphia, who was 24 at the time, was treated and released for a gunshot wound to the shoulder.
The investigation revealed that Pittman and the juvenile went to the apartment to rob Winkler and Bass, with whom they were acquainted. Pittman pulled a gun after they were let inside, and shot the victims as they tried to leave the apartment.
The investigation was conducted by detectives from the Prosecutor’s Office and the Maple Shade Township Police Department, with assistance from the Burlington County Office of Emergency Management, the Cherry Hill Police Department K9 Unit, the Cinnaminson Township Police Department, the New Jersey State Police, the Philadelphia Police Department, and the U.S. Marshals Service New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force. The Burlington County Sheriff’s Department is a member of the task force.
The lead investigators were BCPO Detective Brian Cunningham and MSPD Detective Anthony Blinebury.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Bob Van Gilst, supervisor of the BCPO Major Crimes Unit – Violent Crimes Section.
An indictment is an accusation. Defendants is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.