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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — More than a year after police found a homeless man beaten to death in Wilmington, another homeless man has confessed to the crime.

Investigators say the suspect contacted them to come clean on his 24th birthday.

The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office says Andrew Berry, 24, contacted one of its detectives late Monday. Investigators say he confessed to killing another homeless man in Wilmington on Jan. 2, 2013.

Berry made his first court appearance Tuesday morning to face a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Judson Poland Jr., 48.

Police found Poland dead near a homeless camp at the old Wilson’s restaurant near Market Street and New Center Drive. When police were investigating the murder last year, they believed the injuries to Poland’s head may have been the result of an assault.

“Somebody bashed him in the face pretty damn good,” a caller who found the body told a 911 operator at the time.

This is not Berry’s first run-in with the law. He spent a little more than two years in prison for robbing a gas station on Castle Hayne Rd. Department of Corrections records show his criminal history dates back to 2007, and also includes convictions for drug possessions, communicating threats and assault in New Hanover and Pender counties.
Once homeless… Berry now sits in the new hanover county jail without bail charged with murder and robbery.

In addition to murder… Berry is also charged with robbery.
He is due back in court may 29th.

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