Man accused of killing Temple student in 2017 pleads guilty to 2 charges

Kristen Johanson
January 08, 2019 - 12:28 pm
From left: Jenna Burleigh, Joshua Hupperterz

Philadelphia Police Department

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The man accused of murdering a Temple University student in August of 2017 admitted to a few of the charges just moments before his trial began Tuesday morning.

Joshua Hupperterz, 30, pleaded guilty to the charges of tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse, but he says he was not the one who killed Jenna Burleigh.

In front of a packed courtroom, Assistant District Attorney Jason Grennell told jurors that after Burleigh and Hupperterz met at a bar and walked to his apartment, the two got into a fight, and that’s when Hupperterz beat her, striking her naked body 38 times, then stabbing and strangling her. 

RELATED: Jury selected in trial of man accused of murdering Temple student in 2017

Grennell said in the the days following, Hupperterz eluded police and lied every chance he got before he took Burleigh’s body, in a blue plastic bin, to the Poconos using the car service Lyft.

When it was the defense’s turn, things got sticky. David Nenner, who represents Hupperterz, pointed to his client's roommate as the real killer and brought up a statement to detectives that Judge Glenn Bronson had previously told Nenner not to bring up in Tuesday's opening. 

Prosecutors argued Nenner violated the court order. Nenner conceded he made a mistake, but Bronson said he would not give the jury any more instructions, and at this point he let it go. 

Testimony is expected through the afternoon.