Transgender teen admits to killing 12-year-old girl, then showing body on Instagram


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An 18-year-old in Pennsylvania has entered a guilty plea after she killed a 12-year-old girl over a year ago, authorities say.

Ash Cooper, a transgender woman formerly known as Joshua Cooper, pleaded guilty Thursday to a slew of charges that include third-degree murder, possession of an instrument of crime, and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

Cooper murdered Morgan Connors, 12, on Nov. 25, 2022 at a trailer park in Bensalem Township. According to court documents obtained by the Bucks County Courier Times, the two friends had been watching a Netflix show and Connors had gotten up to use the bathroom.

After the murder took place, police received a call from the mother of one of Cooper’s acquaintances, who saw Connors’ body in a video call on Instagram.

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Split image of Ash Cooper mugshot and Cooper being arrested

Ash Cooper, a transgender woman formerly known as Joshua Cooper, recently pleaded guilty to the 2022 homicide of a 12-year-old girl. (Bucks County District Attorney’s Office / FOX 29 Philadelphia)

“From the call, investigators learned that a juvenile witness was on an Instagram video chat with an acquaintance, later identified as Cooper, who claimed to have just killed someone,” the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office described in a press release.

“In the video chat, Cooper flipped the video image and showed the legs and feet of someone covered in blood.”

After Cooper asked the acquaintance to help clean up and dispose of the body, the teenager told her mother, according to the Courier Times. 

When authorities arrived at the scene, they saw a teen “running out of the back of the trailer.”

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Ash Cooper being arrested

Cooper used her father’s gun to murder Morgan Connors, 12. (FOX 29 Philadelphia)

“Officers entered the residence and observed a deceased juvenile female, later identified as Connors, on the floor of the bathroom with an apparent gunshot wound,” the DA’s office explained. The Courier Times reported that Cooper’s pants were around her ankles at the time. 

“There were also indications that substantial steps were taken to clean up the crime scene.”

Cooper later revealed that she used her father’s gun, which she took from a safe, to kill the preteen.

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Ash Cooper mugshot

Ash Cooper pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, possession of an instrument of crime, and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. (Bucks County District Attorney’s Office)

The judge sentenced Cooper to 15 to 40 years in prison on Thursday. As a legal adult, Cooper is also required to undergo psychological and psychiatric evaluations.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Kristin M. McElroy read a statement from Connors’ grandfather during the sentencing, which described the “intense pain and heartbreak” he felt in the wake of the murder.

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Exterior shot of trailer park home

The homicide occurred in November 2022 at a trailer park in Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania. (FOX 29 Philadelphia)

“The human heart is not built for such heartbreak,” the letter read.

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