College Student, Advocate for Homeless Was Murdered by Man Angry She Cut Short Sexual Encounter
18th January 2019

A man was convicted of killing a Temple University student in his Philadelphia apartment in 2017 after their sexual encounter turned non-consensual and violent, PEOPLE confirms.

Joshua Hupperterz, 30, was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the 2017 death of 22-year-old Jenna Burleigh, a spokesman for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office tells PEOPLE.

Prosecutors said Burleigh and Hupperterz met at a bar in the early morning hours of Aug. 31, 2017, and subsequently had consensual sex at Hupperterz’ apartment. But the encounter became violent and non-consensual when she refused a sex act.

Prosecutors said Hupperterz beat and strangled Burleigh, who died from strangulation and blunt trauma.

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He then stuffed Burleigh’s body into a plastic blue box, a photo of which assistant district attorney Jason Grenell showed during his closing argument, CBS Philadelphia reports. Subsequently, he moved her body to his mother’s home before transporting it to his grandmother’s residence in the Pocono Mountains, where it was eventually found by police.

The DA’s spokesman tells PEOPLE Burleigh was passionate about social justice, including helping the homeless and women’s rights. “Jenna was very compassionate, loving; she had a lot of causes she supported,” her father Ed Burleigh told KYW News Radio.

RELATED: Man Accused of Killing Temple Student Denies Harming Her, But Police Allege He Admitted to ‘Elements of the Crime’

When sentencing Hupperterz, Common Pleas Court Judge Glenn Bronson said, “This was just such an outrageous, depraved crime,” and added, “You just extinguished the life of a very special person who had a lot to give,” reports.

Earlier in January, Hupperterz pleaded guilty to abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. He had contended his roommate was Burleigh’s killer, but the jury rejected that defense.

Police have never implicated the roommate, according to NBC News, and have never pursued charges against him.

RELATED: Man Accused of Killing Temple U. Student Admits Moving Body to His Mom’s House in Plastic Container

It was not immediately clear if Hupperterz plans to appeal his conviction. PEOPLE was unable to immediately reach his defense attorney, David Nenner.

In Burleigh’s memory, the Burleigh family has launched Jenna’s Blessing Bags, a non-profit collecting new and used book bags to fill and distribute to homeless people across the country.

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