- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 2, 2002

A 29-year-old Silver Spring man was sentenced yesterday to prison without parole for the murder more than three years ago of his girlfriend, the mother of their infant daughter.
Stephen D. Satcher avoided a death-penalty trial by pleading guilty in January to five counts involving the kidnapping and murder of Jovita Nerissa Dickerson, 23, and arranging to set afire the car containing her body in North Carolina in December 1998.
Judge Alexander Williams Jr. imposed the life-without-parole sentence yesterday in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, where two co-defendants were convicted and sentenced.
Judge Williams sentenced James Horton, 25, of Raleigh, N.C., to life in prison after a jury found him guilty of kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap. Key testimony in that trial came from Daniel "Charlie" Stancil, 25, a cousin of Satcher, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy in exchange for a recommendation for leniency.
Horton and Stancil previously pleaded guilty in North Carolina to second-degree murder there of Miss Dickerson.
Stancil testified that Miss Dickerson knew too much about Satcher, who was dealing drugs. Satcher hired Stancil and the cousin's friend, Horton, to drive "a couple bodies" to some woods near Zebulon, about 24 miles east of Raleigh.
Satcher offered to pay Stancil and Horton half a kilogram of cocaine to carry out the crime, according to U.S. Attorney Thomas M. DiBiagio.
Satcher and Horton abducted Miss Dickerson on Dec. 4, 1998, as she left her job at a psychiatrist's office in Bowie. They took her to Satcher's stepfather's house in Cheverly, where Satcher kissed her on the cheek and choked her, Stancil testified.
They tied her up, carried her to her 10-year-old Oldsmobile Cutlass, put her in the trunk and drove to Zebulon. The next day, Stancil said, he poured gasoline in the car and Horton doused her body, then set the fire.
Firefighters in Wake County, N.C., thought they were fighting a brush fire. They found Miss Dickerson's body after extinguishing the flames. She was identified quickly by dental records because her family had notified Prince George's County Police when the customarily prompt Miss Dickerson had not arrived home from work.


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