One of three men accused of killing a homeless man in Jacksonville has pleaded guilty, in return for his testimony against the two others.
Jay Oldaker pled guilty to second degree murder before a superior court judge. Oldaker was originally facing first degree murder and now could be sentenced up to 24-1/2 years in prison.
Oldaker, along with 21-year-old Jason Blackmon and 22-year-old Dustin Newcome are accused of killing Mike Kozak last summer.
Court documents say the trio beat Kozak over the head with a pipe, a tree limb, and then used a broken beer bottle to gut him.
Prosecutors offered a plea deal in return for Oldaker's testimony against the other two men and, according to his statements, he had less to do with the murder.
Oldaker remains in jail and the judge ruled, for his protection, that he be kept in a different jail than Blackmon and Newcombe.
Sentencing for Oldaker will be held after he testifies in the other cases.
Jacksonville, NC - Statement from one of three men indicted last week in the murder of a homeless man in Jacksonville over the summer say they did it because they heard the man kissed a young girl.
Newly released statements from the three arrested, 21-year-old Jason Blackmon, 27-year-old Jay Oldaker and 22-year-old Dustin Newcome say they killed 41-year-old Mike Kozak in June of 2008 to teach him a lesson.
The statements are attached to the top of this report. Click on them to read them.
Documents state the trio beat Kozak over the head with a pipe, a tree limb, and then used a broken beer bottle to gut him.
Blackmon's statement reports "Jay picked up a pipe and started beating Mike in the head with it. As he was doing that, the pipe broke and I picked up the broken piece and started beating him in the head also. Dusty started jumping up and down on his midsection and Jay was still kicking him in the head."
Blackmon's statement also says he cut the victim's stomach open and then "reached inside and pulled his guts out. After that was done we all sat down and drank a beer while we laughed and talked about it."
Oldaker's statement says the three men went to the camp and "Dusty put him in a head lock and then Dusty threw him to the ground and JROC stomped him and then Dusty stomped him then I kicked him two or three times in the face then i notice he was not moving I sead that is enoff and then dust stomped on his chest and brock a 40 botel and told JROC to cut his stomick open." Oldaker's statement says he then left the scene.
Police say Newcome adamantly denies being at the camp and participating in the beating of Mike Kozak, saying "he and Mike were friends and he would never do that."
Police say even when confronted by Blackmon and Oldaker's statements, Newcome denied any involvement.
The three men were arrested in July. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for February 23, where prosecutors will announce if they plan to seek the death penalty.
The body of 41-year-old Michael Kozak was found in June 2008 behind the Piney Green Shopping Center. The medical examiner said Kozak died from "multiple blunt and sharp force trauma injuries to the head and torso.”
A little over a week later, police, acting on a Crime Stoppers tip, arrested 21-year-old Jason Blackmon, 27-year-old Jay Oldaker and 22-year-old Dustin Newcome, all of Midway Park.
The three are being held without bond.
A medical examiner says a homeless man found dead behind a Jacksonville shopping center last week was the victim of a homicide.
Police found Michael Kozak's body behind the Piney Green Shopping Center, near a homeless camp.
The medical examiner told WITN News that the 41-year-old Kozak died from "multiple blunt and sharp force trauma injuries to the head and torso.
Jacksonville police have made no arrests in this case.