LAKEWOOD — A resident of the Bayville section of Berkeley Township could spend up to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to a carjacking charge following an incident three and a half years ago.
The quarter-century sentence is what a statement from the Ocean County District Attorney’s Office said the state will recommend to John Bailey, 35, who was first charged in early January 2021 and then apprehended later that month.
Bailey’s arrest was the first sign of potential closure during a Dec. 5, 2018, encounter in Lakewood, where he was accused of approaching a vehicle in which a 20-year-old woman was sitting outside his home, asking directions and a turn.
The prosecutor’s office said the woman provided the instructions Bailey was looking for, but refused to take her, shortly after he returned to the car, knocked on a window, then entered the vehicle and sat on the woman, starting to choke her.
According to the police investigation, Bailey then drove the car with the victim still inside, demanding that she shut up or he would kill her. She managed to escape while the car was still in motion, the prosecutor’s office said, and ran to a nearby house to call the police.
The victim was treated at a local hospital for head lacerations, neck injuries and a bite wound to the leg. The bloodstained vehicle was found later that day.
An ongoing investigation throughout the summer and fall of 2020 identified John Bailey as a possible DNA match, following which a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Bailey’s sentence was set for August 12.
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