A Philadelphia man who punched a Temple University student 38 times before he stabbed and strangled her to death after she refused him anal sex has been convicted in heinous crime.
Joshua Hupperterz, 30, received a life sentence Thursday of first-degree murder and possession of an instrument of crime in the sexually motivated August 2017 murder of Jenna Burleigh, 22 inside his Philadelphia apartment.
Hupperterz pleaded guilty last week to abuse of corpse and tampering with evidence but pleaded not guilty to murder and possession of an instrument of crime.
Prosecutors said Hupperterz physically attacked then killed Burleigh at his apartment before attempting to hide her body in late August 2017, when the pair linked up at a bar in North Philadelphia.
Their encounter started out as consensual but quickly turned violent when they went back to his apartment and Burleigh refused to have anal sex with him.
Joshua Hupperterz, 30, was found guilty Thursday of first-degree murder and possession of an instrument of crime in the sexually motivated August 2017 murder of Jenna Burleigh, 22 inside his Philadelphia apartment
Police discovered blood spattered near the kitchen sink, rear door and on a trash can lid at the suspect’s apartment (above)
Assistant District Attorney Jason Grenell told jurors last week: ‘You’re going to watch and you’re going to see how her body was beaten and contorted, and how he tried to cover it up.’
Hupperterz beat, stabbed and strangled the 22-year-old Temple student (above) in his apartment before before he attempted to hide her body
Hupperterz met the victim at Pub Webb the night of August 31.
Surveillance footage captured the pair leaving when the venue closed at 2am and going back to his apartment, located a few blocks away.
Jurors heard that Hupperterz and Burleigh started having consensual sex before neighbors heard screaming in the apartment at about 4am.
Evidence showed that the screaming started when Hupperterz tried to have anal sex with the victim.
Burleigh grabbed a kitchen knife as she tried to fight Hupperterz, the court heard.
Hupperter punched her 38 times and then stabbed her.
He also smashed a bowl over the victim’s head and strangled her afterward.
Burleigh died from blunt trauma and strangulation.
Hupperterz met the victim at Pub Webb (above) the night of August 31. Surveillance footage captured the pair leaving when the venue closed at 2am and going back to his apartment a few blocks away
Following the murder, Hupperterz stuffed the student’s body into a storage bin and moving it to his mother’s house in a nearby neighborhood.
He then used the ride-sharing service Lyft to move her body more than 100 miles away to his grandmother’s house.
Her body was found in a shed at the property days later.
Hupperterz rejected a plea deal in December and was sentenced to life in prison Thursday.
Hupperterz (pictured left and right) and Burleigh started having consensual sex before neighbors heard screaming in the apartment at about 4am
Hupperter punched the victim 38 times and then stabbed her, he also smashed a bowl over her head before he strangled her
Defense attorneys previously told the court that Hupperterz’s roommate Jack Miley was the man who strangled the victim after he tried to intervene.
They alleged that Hupperterz started screaming when Burleigh used the knife to stab his hand, and said Miley came running in and tried to stop the victim from screaming by putting his hands around her throat.
But prosecutors said DNA evidence and the defendant’s actions proved him to be the killer.
Police also previously said Hupperterz’s statement that Miley murdered the victim was a lie.
Evidence showed that the screaming started when Hupperterz tried to have anal sex with the victim (pictured)
Hupperterz’s cousin told a court last week he unknowingly helped move the body.
Erik Carlson said on the second day of trial that he lugged a blue tote containing Burleigh’s remains but didn’t ask what was inside the heavy bag.
He claimed in court last Wednesday: ‘I said, “Dang, this is heavy”.’
Carlson admitted he saw Hupperterz cleaning up blood inside the property that he visited to buy marijuana, but said that Hupperterz told him he’d cut his hand on a beer bottle.
The man whose uncle was married to Hupperterz’s mother for six years, explained how his cousin seemed ‘normal’ as they smoked together before the assailant loaded the dead woman into his trunk that afternoon.
Hupperterz, who Carlson had known from childhood, arrived at his mother’s house nearby then got the help of his ride-sharing driver to load the corpse into another trunk.
Stating that it ‘felt like bricks’ the driver told the court Hupperterz paid him $200 and asked him to switch off the company’s app, which has GPS tracking, as they drove out 100 miles.
The driver said Hupperterz took a nap during the trip to his grandparents house where his grandfather reported he’d found the body in a storage container just one day after local authorities and an FBI agent visited the rural Pennsylvania property.
It’s believed the suspect transferred the body into a container and stored in a shed at the home and the large bin was displayed in court, NBC 4 reported.