Student’s alleged killer to appear in court

Former student Joshua Hupperterz told his attorney he “did not cause any harm” to slain junior film and media arts major Jenna Burleigh.

Jenna Burleigh (left), a junior film and media arts major, was killed by former student Joshua Hupperterz on Aug. 31. | LEFT VIA TEMPLE POLICE / RIGHT VIA PHILADELPHIA POLICE

A former Temple student charged in the killing of junior media film and media arts major Jenna Burleigh will appear in court on Wednesday.

Joshua Hupperterz, 29, a former advertising major, is accused of having killed Burleigh in his apartment on 16th Street near Cecil B. Moore Avenue. Burleigh died from strangulation and blunt force trauma.

Burleigh was last seen leaving Pub Webb, a bar on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near 16th, with Hupperterz on Aug. 31.

Hupperterz will appear in court for the first time for his pretrial hearing, which was postponed in late September per a request from his attorney David Nenner to Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Patrick Dugan.

Hupperterz told Nenner he “did not cause any harm” to Burleigh. Nenner requested the postponement because he needed more time “for further investigation” of Burleigh’s murder, Nenner said outside the courtroom in September.

Nenner could not be reached for comment.

At pretrial hearings, judges traditionally approve the dates and location of the upcoming trial. The defendant also usually pleads guilty or not guilty and plea bargains are agreed upon. Legal teams also determine which evidence is admissible in the trial.

Burleigh was missing for two days before her body was found more than 100 miles from Main Campus in Wayne County, Pennsylvania, inside a plastic storage container on a property owned by Hupperterz’s grandmother.

Burleigh’s disappearance shook the Temple community after a state-wide search for her body. After Burleigh was found dead, Temple Police reported higher usage rates of its Walking Escort Program, which allows students to request that a TUPD official walk them home any time from 4 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Hupperterz is in custody on charges for murder, abuse of corpse, tampering with evidence and separate drug-related charges.

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