PHILADELPHIA (FOX 29/AP) - A jury has found Joshua Hupperterz guilty on all counts in the killing of Temple University student Jenna Burleigh.
Common Pleas Judge Glenn Bronson, who called the murder "outrageous and depraved and terrible," later sentenced him to the mandatory term of life without possibility of parole on the murder and an additional 4½ to nine years on the other three counts.
Before the sentence was imposed, Burleigh's parents, older sister and her friends gave emotional statements about the impact of her death.
"Jenna was a loving, caring, compassionate, sassy, passionate person who was unapologetically herself," said her mother, Jacqueline Burleigh. "All she wanted was peace in this world."
Investigators say Hupperterz killed Burleigh, 22, in his Philadelphia apartment in August 2017 before moving her body to his mother’s suburban home in a plastic storage bin. Hupperterz later moved her remains to his grandmother’s home in the Poconos, where they were found.
During the trial, jurors watched some of the last moments of Jenna Burleigh’s life as prosecutors displayed video of her in the bar with Hupperterz, before they left at 2 a.m. and went to his apartment.
Prosecutors had alleged Hupperterz strangled Burleigh in his apartment after she cut-short sex with him.
Defense attorney David Nenner suggested in Thursday closing arguments that Hupperterz’s former roommate was responsible. That roommate, who was in the apartment at the time of the killing, testified he heard nothing because he was sound asleep from heavy drinking and drugging. He was not charged.
Prosecutors said DNA and the defendant's actions following the slaying pointed to him as the killer.
Hupperterz, who didn't testify, earlier pleaded guilty to abuse of a corpse and evidence-tampering.