Man accused of murdering Temple student in 2017 rejects plea deal

Kristen Johanson
December 04, 2018 - 4:00 am
The man accused of murdering a Temple University student last year has rejected a plea deal offered by Philadelphia prosecutors.

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The man accused of murdering a Temple University student last year has rejected a plea deal offered by Philadelphia prosecutors. He will head to trial in January, charged with first degree murder and abuse of corpse.  

The deal: plead to third degree murder and spend 30 to 60 years in prison.

But Joshua Hupperterz said no. 

During a hearing aimed at suppressing certain evidence, the 30-year-old defendant took the stand and said he asked for a lawyer several times while being questioned by police about the disappearance of Jenna Burleigh in September 2017. 

Burleigh went missing on Thursday Aug. 31, 2017. Her body was found days later inside a storage container on Hupperterz's grandmother's property in Hawley, Pennsylvania.   

Authorities say Hupperterz used the car service Lyft to transport the body from his apartment to the Poconos. 

Hupperterz testified to the judge that detectives slammed his head into the ground and that he had seizures in front of them, but that they never took him to the hospital. Prosecutors pointed out that the suspect, they say, never mentioned anything about the alleged assault when he was being recorded, never asked for medical attention and doesn't have a history of seizures. 

The defense is also trying to suppress searches of the suspect's apartment, where blood evidence was found.  

The hearing has been continued until Friday, where the Judge is expected to rule on whether the evidence can be used at the trial in January.