Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Murder of Christine Sheddy

Christine Sheddy was murdered at the age of 26 on November 12th, 2007. Prior to her death, the mother-of-three was living in a farmhouse in Pocomoke City, Maryland. There were three other people living in the house as well: 33 year-old Clarence Butch...

Christine Sheddy was murdered at the age of 26 on November 12th, 2007. Prior to her death, the mother-of-three was living in a farmhouse in Pocomoke City, Maryland. There were three other people living in the house as well: 33 year-old Clarence Butch Jackson (pictured top right), Clarence’s girlfriend, 27 year-old Tia Lynn Johnson (pictured middle right), and Clarence’s cousin, 17 year-old Justin Hadel. 

On the day of the murder, Christine was at the house with Clarence and Justin. Although Clarence was Tia’s boyfriend, he was also involved in a sexual relationship with Christine. Christine, however, wanted more from that relationship. When she told Clarence this, he ultimately turned her down. As a result, Christine threatened to tell Tia that Clarence had been cheating with her. Justin overheard this, and said to Clarence, “you better finish her off.” Justin himself then picked up a 2-by-4 piece of lumber and hit Christine in the head. The impact crushed her face and broke every bone below her forehead. She was ultimately hit 3 times in the head before she succumbed to her injuries.

Tia was not at the house at the time the murder occurred. When she did return home, she saw Clarence and Justin emerging from the woods. They told her that Christine had run off, when in reality Clarence and Justin had just buried her in a shallow grave. Clarence and Justin later admitted to what really happened, and they asked Tia to help them move her body. The trio then placed Christine’s body in the trunk of Tia’s car. With Tia’s two small children in the car, Tia, Clarence and Justin drove to Snow Hill. There, they ended up burying Christine’s body behind a guest house at the River House Inn.

Later, Clarence and Tia moved to Tennessee, while Justin moved to Texas. In February 2010, Clarence was arrested in Hamilton County on arson charges. While behind bars, he reached out to Christine’s mother and told her that he would give up the location of Christine’s body in exchange for him being transferred to a Maryland prison, so he could be closer to his daughter. Detectives then went to go speak with Clarence, and he ultimately admitted that, while Justin killed Christine, he was the “ringleader” behind the murder and the cover-up. Clarence also told detectives where they could find Christine’s remains. They were located about two days later. Then, Clarence, Tia and Justin were all charged for their respective involvement in Christine’s murder.

In October 2012, Tia was sentenced to 15 years. Clarence was sentenced to life in prison with a 30 year suspension. The previous year, Justin was convicted of first-degree murder as well, however in 2015 he appealed the case on a technicality and was granted a retrial. During the original trial, Justin requested a new lawyer, but the Judge did not allow it. Although he was granted the new trial, Justin ultimately ended up pleading guilty to first-degree murder. He also received a life sentence with a 30 year suspension.

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