Defense, Prosecution Begin Opening Arguments in Hupperterz Murder Trial

Joshua Hupperterz (pictured) is a former Temple University student.

The man charged with the murder of Temple University student Jenna Burgleigh is now blaming his roommate for her death.

Joshua Hupperterz’s defense attorney, David Nenner, used this argument as the basis of his opening statements on Tuesday. Then-29-year-old Hupperterz, and Burleigh, 22, met and were seen by surveillance cameras leaving Pub Webb, a bar near Temple’s campus, during the early hours of August 31, 2017.

They traveled to Hupperterz’s North Philadelphia apartment where the pair engaged in sexual activity, which—according to Nenner—led to an argument that resulted in Burleigh stabbing Hupperterz in his kitchen.

Nenner then alleged that Hupperterz’s roommate heard the commotion and ran to the kitchen, where he attacked and ultimately strangled Burleigh.

The prosecution strongly disputed Nenner’s account of that night. Assistant District Attorney Jason Grenell shifting attention back to Hupperterz, saying he was responsible for Burleigh’s stabbing and strangulation. He also heavily expressed empathy for Burleigh’s parents during his statements.

Jenna Burleigh’s father, Ed Burleigh, spoke to reporters including Temple Update’s Conall Smith after Wednesday’s session:

Hupperterz has pleaded not guilty to Burleigh’s murder, however he did admit to tampering with evidence. Police found Burleigh’s body in Hupperterz’s family home in suburban Pennsylvania shortly after her death. If convicted of first or second-degree murder, he could face life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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