The Pennsylvania man standing trial for murdering a Temple University student has admitted to moving the woman’s body to his grandmother’s home but still denies killing her.
WPVI reported that Joshua Hupperterz, 30, pleaded guilty Tuesday to abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence in connection with the August 2017 slaying of Jenna Burleigh, 22. Burleigh’s body was reportedly found in a plastic container located inside Hupperterz’s grandmother’s shed.
Prosecutors have accused Hupperterz of beating, strangling, and stabbing Burleigh after she refused a sex act. They said Burleigh grabbed a knife to defend herself but Hupperterz somehow gained control of the weapon and used it to stab her, according to the news station.
People reported that Hupperterz transported Burleigh’s body to his mother’s home before taking it to his grandmother’s shed. Hupperterz’s cousin testified Wednesday to arriving at his apartment as he was cleaning up blood that he claimed was caused when he cut his hand on a beer bottle. The cousin also claimed he unknowingly helped move Burleigh’s body to Hupperterz mother’s home under the guise that they were transporting books.
“I said, ‘Dang, this is heavy,'” the cousin recalled, according to WNBC.
Meanwhile, the defense has argued that Hupperterz’s roommate was the one who killed Burleigh. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that his lawyers accused Jack Miley of intervening in the early morning fight and killing Burleigh.
Per WPVI, Miley testified Thursday to sleeping through the murder and claimed that he woke to find Hupperterz, covered in cuts and bruises, cleaning up blood in the apartment’s kitchen.
Authorities noted that Miley was never implicated or charged in connection with the Temple University student’s murder.
[Featured image: Joshua Hupperterz, Jenna Burleigh/Philadelphia Police Department]