Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw announced that a Willingboro man has pled guilty to fatally shooting a 22-year-old woman three years ago inside her Maple Shade apartment.
Under an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, Semaj T. Pittman, 23, pled guilty in Superior Court in Mount Holly on April 28 to one count of Aggravated Manslaughter (First Degree) in exchange for a 25-year term in state prison. The Hon. Christopher J. Garrenger scheduled sentencing for June 30.
The investigation began on the afternoon of February 23, 2020, after officers from the Maple Shade Police Department were called to The Arbors apartment complex on Lenola Road 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, 22-year-old Kayla Winkler, was pronounced dead. Her boyfriend, Ramek Bass of Philadelphia, who was 24 at the time, was treated for a gunshot wound to the shoulder.
The investigation revealed that Pittman and a juvenile teenager went to the apartment to rob Winkler and Bass, with whom they were acquainted. After they were allowed inside, Pittman pulled a gun and shot the victims as they tried to leave the apartment.
The teenager, an Evesham Township resident, pled guilty last year 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 was conducted by detectives from the Prosecutor’s Office and the Maple Shade Township Police Department. The lead investigators were BCPO Detective Sergeant Brian Cunningham and MSPD Corporal Anthony Blinebury.
Pittman is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Bob Van Gilst, supervisor of the BCPO Major Crimes Unit.