Cooper Pleads Guilty To Murder

On Friday, November 25, 2022, at 4:11 pm, the Bensalem Police Department received a 911 call that would shake a neighborhood to its core and bring a family unbearable heartache.

When officers arrived at the scene, they saw 16-year-old Joshua Cooper run out of a trailer at the Top of the Ridge trailer park, police would go on to find Morgan Connors, 12, dead on the bathroom floor.

Cooper would be arrested later that night.

Joshua Cooper the “Bensalem Teen” is now 18 and is currently in the process of transitioning. Her attorney has requested that she be identified as Ash. She has been housed at the Bucks County Juvenile Detention Center since her arrest.

Ash Cooper pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, possession of an instrument of crime, and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence on Thursday, March 21, 2024, and was sentenced to 15 to 40 years in state prison. She was also sentenced to a consecutive sentence of seven years probation and undergo psychological and psychiatric evaluations.

Presiding Judge Jeffrey Finley accepted the plea agreement. He expressed concern about what he described as Cooper’s “troubling history of conduct and treatment of other people,” and the lack of any “real explanation” for what occurred the day of the murder. Finley would further say:

 

“The one thing that is certain is it’s a horrible tragedy,” “You won’t spend the rest of your life in jail. You have an opportunity to rehabilitate your conduct, to seek redemption. You better take advantage of that.”

 

Prosecutors said Cooper has never revealed the reason for the killing. A note found in Cooper’s bedroom was provided to the judge but was never made public.

Cooper’s attorney, Paul Lang, told the court as his client wiped away tears, that Cooper, who was 16 at the time of the murder, had a “difficult upbringing” and felt “significant remorse and sorrow.”

The police investigation would find that Cooper carried out the murder using a hunting rifle she obtained from her father’s safe, according to prosecutors. A safe her father thought was inoperable because he removed the batteries from the electronic lock. Ash replaced the batteries and removed the rifle.

During Cooper’s sentencing, Chief Deputy District Attorney Kristin M. McElroy read an impact statement from Connors’ grandfather and adoptive father, Allen Gold. He described the “intense pain and heartbreak” of losing his granddaughter.

“The human heart is not built for such heartbreak,” he wrote in the letter. Calling Morgan a “sweet, beautiful” person and saying that every year on her birthday the family remembers the aspiring writer, now gone.

“A parent should never have to bury a child”

 

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