Jurors hear from key witness in trial of man accused of killing Temple student

Kristen Johanson
January 11, 2019 - 10:02 pm
Joshua Hupperterz

Philadelphia Police

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- The first week of trial for Joshua Hupperterz has wrapped. The 30-year-old defendant is accused of murdering a Temple University student in August 2017. On Friday, a key witness in the case took the stand.  

The defense cross-examined the former roommate of Hupperterz, Jack Miley, who said he was “passed out” after a night out with Hupperterz, and didn’t hear anyone screaming, as another witness who lived in the building testified to hearing. 

Hupperterz’s attorney tried to poke holes at Miley’s account of what happened, asking about phone calls and texts between the defendant and Miley on the night in question, and following days - pointing to texts where Hupperterz asks Miley to open the door to their apartment an hour after Miley was seen going into the building. 

Jenna Burleigh was found stabbed, beaten and strangled inside a blue plastic bin on a property of Hupperterz’s grandmother. The defense has argued that it was Miley who killed Burleigh. 

Miley said he woke up the next morning and saw Hupperterz cleaning up blood. He told the court when he asked what happened, Hupperterz told him he fell asleep on a thorn bush, and then later, he said, changed his story to cutting his hand on a broken cereal bowl. 

In a brief re-direct, prosecutors asked point blank if Miley had anything to do with Burleigh’s murder, to which he said, "absolutely not, I would never touch a woman."

He also said he gave investigators his phone and a DNA swab three months after Burleigh’s body was found.

Miley’s sister also took the stand, telling jurors how her brother could “sleep through anything” and how she and their other sibling were with him in the day after the killing.  

Testimony was set resume on Monday.