Justina Morley was fifteen years old when she took part in the brutal murder of an another teenager. According to court documents Justina Morley lured the victim Jason Sweeney to a remote location with the promise of sex where he would be fatally attacked by Edward Batzig, Domenic and Nicholas Cola. According to police the reason that Jason Sweeney was attacked is that the group knew he had just been paid. This teen killer Morley would be sentenced to 17 and a half to 35 years in prison, as of this writing she is still incarcerataed. Edward Batzig, Domenic and Nicholas Cola all received life sentences.
Justina Morley 2020 Information
Date of Birth: 03/07/1988
Height: 5′ 04″
Current Location: CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS
Permanent Location: CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS
Committing County: PHILADELPHIA
Justina Morley Other News
Nicholas Coia wore a blue prison uniform, handcuffs and a blank expression yesterday as he was led into court for a resentencing hearing in the brutal 2003 murder of 16-year-old Jason Sweeney.
Coia, 28, sat next to his lawyer, his back to the victim’s parents Dawn and Paul Sweeney and his sister Melissa Vereb, who were among the witnesses called to testify at the hearing to determine whether Coia’s life sentence should stand.
“My precious baby boy had been beaten to death so brutally that I had to identify him by a fresh scar on his hand,” Dawn Sweeney testified, tears streaming down her face. “I sat in the court room listening to testimony that a couple of weeks prior to Jason’s murder, the four of them originally wanted to murder me and my whole family while we slept.”
She asked that Coia’s life sentence be upheld.
Coia, 16 at the time of the killing, was convicted of first-degree murder in March 2005, along with his brother Domenic Coia and their friend Edward Batzig, for the brutal slaying of Sweeney in Fishtown. A fourth teen, Justina Morley, then 15, pleaded guilty in the slaying and was sentenced to 17 1/2 to 35 years in prison.
The three boys, all under 18 at the time of the murder, were sentenced to life in prison without parole. However, in 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that life sentences given to juveniles were a violation of the 8th amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, and required that juveniles sentenced to life be resentenced.
The resentencings must take into consideration the juvenile’s age at the time of the murder as well as other factors.
During yesterday’s hearing, Special Agent Richard Reinhold, who investigated the murder in 2003, described the vicious wounds found on Sweeney’s face and testified that Coia spent weeks plotting to kill Sweeney with the intent to steal his money.
Assistant District Attorney Jude Conroy, asked Reinhold to explain how Coia enlisted the help of Morley to lure Sweeney to the location where Coia, his brother and Batzig hacked and clubbed him to death with multiple weapons including a rock and a hatchet.
Vereb, the victim’s sister, asked that Coia’s sentence stand, saying he was incapable of change.
“Forgiving them means that it hurts less today than it did 12 years ago,” she testified. “I only ask that you find it in your judgment to understand that while some people are capable of becoming better than their past, that Coia is not. This was a well thought out murder. One where he had plenty of time to stop it from happening.”
The hearing before Common Pleas Judge Sandy L.V. Byrd continues today.
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- Justina Morley 2020 Update
Justina Morley is currently incarcerated at the Cambridge Springs prison in Pennsylvania
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Justina Morley is eligible for parole in 2021
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