Jack Miley, Joshua Hupperterz’s former roommate, maintained his innocence during Hupperterz’s murder trial on Friday.
David Nenner, Hupperterz’s defense attorney, argued Miley killed Temple University junior Jenna Burleigh in August 2017, and that Hupperterz, who has been charged with her murder, abuse of corpse, and tampering with evidence, helped Miley cover it up. Miley has not been charged with any crime.
Nenner’s questioning of Miley was tense. At one point, Nenner called Miley a “liar,” but it was removed from the formal record.
Miley’s phone records show he and Hupperterz conversed in the days following Burleigh’s death. Miley said he called Hupperterz several times between Sept. 1 and 2, urging Hupperterz to talk to police. Miley said Hupperterz “kept feeding [him] lies,” like telling Miley he was in North Carolina when he was actually at his grandmother’s house in Wayne County, Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia Prosecutor Danielle Burkavage asked what Miley would have done if he woke up during the night and heard screams. Miley said he would have gone upstairs and stopped Hupperterz.
“I never touched that woman,” Miley told jurors.
Prosecutors said Hupperterz and Burleigh had consensual sex at his apartment on 16th Street near Cecil B. Moore Avenue on Aug. 31 2017 after leaving Pub Webb, a bar on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near 16th Street. Then, Hupperterz allegedly began attacking Burleigh and killed her after a physical fight.
Nenner maintains Burleigh attacked Hupperterz first after he attempted anal sex, and Miley came upstairs, strangled and killed Burleigh to protect his roommate.
After the murder, Burleigh’s body was transported to Hupperterz’s mother’s home in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania by he and his cousin, Erik Carlsen, and later found at Hupperterz’s grandmother’s home in Wayne County after being transported by Lyft.
Miley, after hiring an attorney in early September, did not provide police with a written statement until Dec. 8, 2017 — about three months after he was first questioned by Temple Police Captain Edward Woltemate.
Miley’s sister, Courtney Miley, also testified Friday. When she visited Jack Miley and Hupperterz’s apartment the day after the alleged murder, she said she noticed blood in several areas of the house.
She said her brother is a heavy sleeper. Nenner asked Jack Miley several times if he woke up to any screams, knocks on the door, or police lights on the night of Burleigh’s murder. Miley said he slept through the night and until about 1 p.m.
On Friday, Corporal Benjamin Clark from the Lackawanna County investigations department testified that he spoke to Hupperterz at his grandmother’s property on Sept. 1. Hupperterz told Clark that a friend gave him a ride to his grandmother’s house, where police later discovered Burleigh’s body.
Hupperterz’s Lyft driver to Wayne County, Avery Tucker, testified on Wednesday that he drove Hupperterz that day. Clark said Hupperterz did not seem nervous while asking him questions about the night Burleigh was killed.
Brian Stark, an officer at the Philadelphia Police Department Crime Scene Unit, was last to testify on Friday. Stark presented a shattered bowl with blood stains, which he recovered at Hupperterz’s and Jack Miley’s off-campus apartment.
Jenna Burleigh’s mother, Jacqueline Burleigh began to cry and lean on her husband’s shoulder when Stark testified he found a long, brown strand of hair on the bowl.
Jack Miley testified that Hupperterz told him he cut his hand on a broken cereal bowl, after previously telling his roommate he woke up in a “pricker bush.” Hupperterz told police the blood spatter around the apartment came from the cuts on his hand.
The trial will continue on Monday. Information from the medical examiner’s office and forensic data will likely be presented next week.