Killer Displays Victim on Instagram

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18-year-old Ash Cooper, a transgender woman previously known as Joshua Cooper, confessed on March 21, 2024 to the murder of 12-year-old Morgan Connors.

The incident occurred in a trailer park located in Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania in November 2022.

Cooper admitted to multiple charges, including third-degree murder, possessing an instrument of crime, and manipulating physical evidence.

According to court records, Connors and Cooper were viewing a Netflix program together before the murder occurred.

Connors excused herself to the restroom during their viewing, and it was shortly after this that she was fatally injured. A call was made to the police by the mother of one of Cooper’s friends after she saw Connors’ body during an Instagram video chat between her child and Cooper. Cooper had shown the blood-covered body of Connors and requested help in cleaning up and disposing of the body.

Upon their arrival, law enforcement officers spotted a young person swiftly exiting the back of the trailer. When apprehended, this individual, who was Cooper, told the officers, “It was an accident,” according to the official statement in the affidavit establishing probable cause.

Inside the trailer, the officers discovered Connors dead in the bathroom, with her pants pooled around her ankles. She had suffered an apparent gunshot wound. Cooper confessed to using her father’s firearm, taken from a safe, to commit the murder and to attempting to hide her actions afterward.

On Thursday, the court sentenced Cooper to a prison term ranging from 15 to 40 years. The sentence also requires Cooper to undergo psychological and psychiatric evaluations, underlining a consideration of her mental health in connection to the crime. The prosecution confirmed that Cooper has not disclosed her motive for the murder.

A note found in Cooper’s bedroom was presented to the judge overseeing the case. However, the contents of this note have been kept confidential. Paul Lang, Cooper’s lawyer, described Cooper’s upbringing as filled with difficulties during his address to the court. Lang noted Cooper’s expression of deep remorse for her actions. Cooper was observed crying during the court proceedings.

Judge Jeffrey Finley accepted the plea but expressed his concern over Cooper’s troubling past behavior and treatment of others. He voiced his regret over the lack of a concrete explanation for the events that unfolded on the day of the crime.

Addressing the court, Judge Finley stated, “Undoubtedly, this is an awful tragedy,” and added, “Your life won’t be confined to a prison cell. There lies before you a chance to amend your ways, to seek atonement. You must seize this opportunity.” Following her guilty plea to additional charges, Cooper was handed an extra seven-year probationary sentence.

Allen Gold, Connors’ grandfather and adoptive father, remembered Morgan as a “sweet, beautiful” person. He revealed that the family continues to observe her birthday each year, honoring her memory. “A parent should never have to bury a child,” Gold stated, a message conveyed by the prosecution in court, encapsulating the profound grief associated with such a tragic loss.

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