Chief medical examiner testifies in Hupperterz trial

Kristen Johanson
January 15, 2019 - 9:01 pm
Joshua Hupperterz

Philadelphia Police Department

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It was gruesome details into the murder of Temple University student Jenna Burleigh at the trial for the man accused of killing her in August 2017. On Tuesday, Philadelphia's chief medical examiner took the stand about her injuries and the nature of her death. 

Autopsy photos flashed on the screen, the medical examiner showing bruises to Burleigh's face, chest and back, gashes on her leg and arm, defensive scrape wounds on her mouth and neck.

How she died, he said, was by manual strangulation.

Prosecutors say it was at the hands of Joshua Hupperterz. Burleigh's battered body was found inside a storage bin on the property of the defendant's grandmother, but the defense points to Jack Miley, the defendant's roommate, as the killer, and asked the medical examiner if they took swabs of the victim's neck area to see if there was touch DNA, something the doctor said they don't normally do.

RELATED: DNA expert continues testimony in Hupperterz trial, links evidence to defendant

The defense contends Miley woke up in the early morning hours of Aug. 31 to a fight between the victim and the defendant, and pushed Burleigh down the steps before stomping on her neck.

When the doctor was asked if that scenario could have been the cause of her death, he said Burleigh's death was consistent with strangulation because of petechiae seen in Burleigh's eyes, a hemorrhaging of eye blood vessels.

The doctor also pointed to a checkered pattern of pooled blood on Burleigh's back, which he says happens hours after a victim is killed, to that of a floor mat in the kitchen - a different location from where the defense claims she died. 

Burleigh's father will testify in the morning.