Justina Morley Teen Killer Jason Sweeney Murder

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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 incarcerated. Edward Batzig, Domenic and Nicholas Cola all received life sentences.

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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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Jason Sweeney, 16, was a brown-haired, easygoing teenager who loved working beside his father on construction jobs. His best friend was Eddie Batzig, a bespectacled 16-year-old. The girl he wanted to bring home to meet his mother was pale, slender Justina Morley, 15.

On the evening of May 30, Justina allegedly lured Jason to the Trails, a wooded area of the working-class Fishtown section of Philadelphia along the Delaware River. She promised him sex.

The two were undressing when Eddie allegedly appeared with a hatchet. With him were two other teenage boys Jason knew. One was armed with a hammer.

According to the confession of Dominic Coia, who appeared in court recently, Jason was beaten savagely and fatally. The three young men are charged as adults with murder along with Morley, who police say was part of the plot.

As Jason lay dying, Coia told police, “We took Sweeney’s wallet out and split up the money, and we partied beyond redemption.” But first, he said, the teens shared “a group hug–it was like we were all happy with what we did.”

Like any big city, Philadelphia is accustomed to almost daily murders, some of them brutal, some committed by teenagers. But this one was different, and the accused teens’ apparent callousness and utter lack of remorse have shocked the city.

The accused killers were not high on drugs. The killing was not random. It was not a crime of passion or self-defense or a drug deal gone bad.

A police detective testified that he asked Coia, 18, whether he was high on drugs during the murder. “No, I was as sober as I am now,” he replied. “It is sick, isn’t it?”

The killers planned the crime several days in advance, according to police. They sent Morley as “the bait,” Coia told police. As Sweeney lay unconscious after the first blows, they smashed his face at least a dozen times. They left with Sweeney’s $500 weekly salary, which they spent on heroin, marijuana and the depressant Xanax.

To prepare for the killing that day, Coia told police, “we must have listened to `Helter Skelter’ about 42 times.” Mass murderer Charles Manson said the Beatles song inspired him and his followers during their 1969 killing spree in Los Angeles.

Batzig, who had been Sweeney’s best friend since 4th grade, told a detective that he hit his friend’s face four or five times with a hatchet, according to court testimony.

“Jason started begging for his life, but we just kept hitting him,” Batzig told police.

At a preliminary hearing June 17, no explanation was offered for why the killers did not simply rob Jason. Jason’s father, Paul Sweeney, thinks he knows why.

“Jealousy,” he said last week in the kitchen of his Fishtown row house. “They were jealous that Jason was moving past them, growing beyond them as a good person. He wasn’t hooked on drugs like the rest of them, and they wanted vengeance.”

Coia abused heroin, marijuana and alcohol, according to his lawyer, Lee Mandell. Morley, Batzig and Coia’s brother, Nicholas, 16, abused heroin, marijuana and prescription drugs, according to court testimony.

On the day of the killing, Dominic Coia told police that the killers left the house to hide in the woods as Morley lured Jason to the site. They put on latex gloves, Coia said.

They counted down “three, two, one,” Coia said, and then they attacked.


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39 thoughts on “Justina Morley Teen Killer Jason Sweeney Murder”

  1. Tameka Chattman

    She is just as responsible as the other 3 assholes she should have did life.Throw her ass underneath the jailhouse!!

  2. OMG this rotten B—h should rot in prison!! All four of them should have been led to the gallows and hanged! My faith system has me believe that she will have to answer to a much higher authority than our judicial system on earth, the only thing that brings peace to me and many others!

  3. The law says it’s cruel and unusual to sentence juveniles to life in prison? What about the torture these sub-humans inflicted on their victim. Would anyone want any of these murderers to live next door to them once they are released? It’s about time this country stands up for victims, not cold blooded murderers!! Not any one of them should ever be released.

  4. You people are sick. You don’t know anything about this girl, but feel you have the right to condemn her? You speak of faith, but mention gallows in the previous sentence. I hope that something awful happens to every one of you. She is a fuc*ING person. If your brains weren’t so small,, I’d ask you to imagine what her life has been like…You are more monster than she will ever be

    1. Judging by most of these comments it’s more “the girl got away with it” and people resent that! She didn’t inflict any blows on Jason yes she did entice him
      and served 171/2 years so she did her time!

    2. Brian Thurston

      Well is it not just as bad as you wishing something bad to happen to everyone of the people who posted something negative and yeah I agree if she proves herself worthy of a second chance at life I’d give her one because I suffer from mental health and who knows when, what day, & if I Fly off the handle & go straight batshit Crazy

    3. Your brain must be even smaller! Imagine what he went through the last minutes of his life! You’re the sick one to defend this piece of sh$@ ! The only monsters are the ones behind bars! Too bad they aren’t 6 feet under!

    4. Apparently you never heard about how ON THE STAND she stated she was happy she did it… bragging about it in letters… she can eat shit and rot in a hole somewhere! I can’t imagine being that boys parents! She’s a sick, twisted little tart who used her body to get what she wanted and needed… which is fine until it leads to MURDER OF AN INNOCENT HUMAN LIFE!

    5. She’s white trash! I don’t care what her like was like. She had made this plan so she could rob this sweetheart of a boyfriend whom had a job and a future so in turn she could sleep with three drug addict jobless uneducated bums!

    6. She was part of this plan to have this boy 16 years old murdered she’s a monster and for you to say what you’re saying is unreal. Yes she should have had a life sentence without parole also, because without her luring him this would have never happened. All four of them planned his murder they knew what they were doing I don’t care how old they were anybody in there teens knows exactly what they’re doing. We might not think of the consequences but we know what we’re doing. And they all knew what they were doing and they all deserved a life sentence in prison. Without the ability of parole.

    7. You don’t think she deserves the same sentence they boys got? She definitely does, she was just as responsible if not more. She didn’t have to lure that poor boy there but she did. Then she stood and watched them beat him to death. That is as sick as it gets! I definitely would not want to know her or be anywhere near her when she’s out. How can she live with herself? If she was in fact a good person she wouldn’t be able to withstand the guilt. It’s absolutely horrific!

    8. Are you serious? You want something Bad to happen to people who are pissed that the girl got away with murder? What does that say about YOU?

    9. Don’t know anything about her? The fact that she lured a young boy who liked her, to his brutal death is something we know about her. We also know she took her share of the boys money as he lay at her feet dying. Then shared a hug with the 3 that beat him to death. What more does anyone need to know? She’s cold, calculating & ruthless. Without her it wouldn’t have happened. She deserves the same as the others.

    10. Oh Amanda, you are a sorry lost soul. To wish harm on any living being, you have to be a similar sociopath as Justina. you should be ashamed of yourself to ask anyone to imagine her life. She created her life, planning to take someone’s life for what……$125.00. Lets think of Jason’s last dying words, spoken directly to her-“you set me up” or the pain he went thru being murdered by friends, or the pain that his family is going thru to this day. Really Amanda, I really hope you aren’t walking the streets with your psychotic attitude, fingers crossed.

  5. Amanda,what do you mean all these people are sick ,she is nothing but a killer set free so she can do it again, hopefully she will die an agonizing death and soon , may she have an awful life for what she did , imagine what Jason’s family goes through every day of their lives, so don’t get on her acting and supporting a know slut and killer

  6. Omg that’s very human of you to wish others bad. Yes we shouldn’t judge but bad people should pay with there life for taking a life. Why should a killer plead to be alive what about the pleading of that person that they brutally killed. I don’t care what excuse they give for killing someone there’s no excuse for a plan killing
    That’s just evil.

  7. Amanda. You retard. Who give a shit about what her life’s been like? What has Jason’s life been like? Jason’s family? I hope she gets the fattest bag of heroin she can find when she’s released and she overdoses faster than I can type this.

  8. Yeah. I’m not understanding why Amanda would be defending justina. Whatever life she’s had bad in jail. She deserved that. I mean. She was supposed to be Jason’s girlfriend. Someone he could trust, depend on to keep him safe and the same to her. But instead she tricked him and then left him for dead. For his supposed best friends to brutally murder. Just for 500$? And what the four of them. So for 125$ a piece they murdered their friend that they had known for years. Just for 125$. That’s maybe a gram and a little less than a half. If they just got heroin with their share. An amount that maybe lasted 2-3. 4 days at the most. I can’t even begin to comprehend how that they thought that 4 days of parting and getting high was worth their “friends” life.
    If Justine was his girlfriend she probably could have just asked for some money, same with the friends. And he probably would have atleast given them something. They where supposed to be his best friends. How can you feel sorry for someone who does that. I mean obviously they weren’t thinking this through completely, but they where pretty clear about how they intended to kill him. They planned it out. When they could have just robbed him for money if they didn’t want to ask to barrow it from the friend. But it’s supposed to be “ cruel and unusual punishment “ to give a minor life without being parole ? What about the way they thought out and methodically planned the murder of their “best friend” and “boyfriend “ for pocket change pretty much. That’s cruel and unusual punishment for Jason. And then everyday his parents and family wake up and have to remember everyday what happened to their son….and oh yeah now maybe his killers might get out and be our neighbors again some day.

  9. Concerned Citizen

    Had it not been for Justine the murder wouldn’t of happened. She was the main factor. She knew what was going to happen to Jason and still went thru with it. If she was so damaged by her life why would she help take another person’s life. People who are damaged don’t want others to get hurt they warn others to stay away or try to get away them selves. It takes a kind of mental state to kill and plan to kill. I’ll put it to you this way… if it was your brother, father, or son that was killed by these people in the manner at which it happened..(Hatchett, hammer, + rock) and to only be identified by a scar on his hand. That means no way to id him by looking at his face because it was bashed in to badly. And to not care that it happened in front of her. I myself would like her to be sentenced to death if it were available. Only because Jason will never be around to see another day or share another minute with his family so why should she.

  10. NO, she is a murderer. Eye for an eye tooth for a tooth. She lured Jason to his death. His parents will never see their son again, because of these cold blooded murderers.

  11. His family are going thru hell every minute of every day..their own form of prison ..and the law thinks it’s unreasonable cruelty to sentence these monsters to life..all four should be incarcerated for life..scary scary evil people..don’t let them out..

  12. They should all spend the rest of their lives in jail. They took the life of a fine young man who worked for a living and had a really good family they should rot and prison all four of them

  13. My prayers go out to Jason’s family , having to relive that day over when people post comments in support of the ones that brought harm to their loved one. May you rest in peace Jason Sweeney????

  14. Well, Justina has been released from prison. If I was Jason’s father, I would finish the sentence that she should have received.

  15. Well the whole incident is a tragedy. The lives lost, yes lives. They were all just children. Teenage idiots on drugs not in their right minds. Not developed mature brains. For anyone wishing harm on Justina must have never have had to deal with any kind of incarceration. She served her whole young half of her life, grew up behind bars, yet became a bubbly friendly young woman who got educated and a career. She was well liked and respected by many correctional officers and inmates alike. It was a pleasure to of met her.

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