Money can make the world go round, but it can also cause a lot of problems for a lot of people. When you are a teenager, your hormones are on high alert and it can cause you to feel extreme jealousy. Now when you combine money and jealousy, bad things are bound to happen. This is what happened when a teenager was killed out of jealous rage by Justina Morley.
The Case: Murder of Jason Sweeney
The case when teenagers go off the deep end is a case that focuses on the murder of Jason Sweeney.
Jason Sweeney was 16 years old when he was murdered by Justina Morley, Nicholas Coia and Dominic Coia. The reason for his murder was simply pure jealousy and rage.
At the age of sixteen, Jason Sweeney was unlike normal teenagers his age. He had left school and started working at his fathers factory in Philadelphia. It was at this time that he met Justina Morley.
Unknown to Jason Sweeney, his relationship with Justina Morley would end badly for him and ultimately end his life. He seemed to be smitten with Justina Morley as Jason Sweeney Facebook often showed his affection and showed posts concerning Jason Sweeney Justina Morley.
About the teenagers who instigated the murder
There were three teenagers who all were accomplices in the murder of Jason Sweeney. These teens and a background of them are as follows:
The first teenager is Justina Morley. At the time of his murder, Justina Morley had just begun a relationship with Jason Sweeney. On the 30th of May 2003, Jason Sweeney Justina Morley went on a date.
Justina Morley was a new girl in the small town that Jason Sweeney had lived in. Because of the fact that she was a new girl in town, little was known about her and her intentions with Jason Sweeney.
The second and third teenagers are Nicholas Coia and Dominic Coia who are both brothers. The two brothers used to be friends with Jason Sweeney when he was younger, but when Nicholas Coia began having sexual relations with Justina Morley, the two brothers swiftly ended their friendship with Jason Sweeney.
The connection that Justina Morley had to Nicholas Coia was that she was engaging in sexual relations with him, and she had also engaged in sexual relations with a teenager named Edward Batzig, Jr. Edward Batzig, Jr was the childhood best friend of Jason Sweeney but he was not made aware of this fact.
How the murder of Jason Sweeney happened
Jason Sweeney and Justina Morley had a date planned for the 30th of May 2003. At this point, Justina Morley already knew a bit about Jason Sweeney and the amount of money he was making and lured him into her trap with the guise of sex.
On the 30th of May 2003, Justina Morley lured Jason Sweeney to “The Trails” with the promise of sex. The Trails are known as being an area covered with trees near the Delaware River in Philadelphia.
Being the typical teenager who has urges they would like to be satisfied, Jason Sweeney went to “The Trails” in hopes that he and Justina Morley would engage in sexual intercourse. Upon his arrival at the trails, he was instantly struck in the head.
Jason Sweeney was struck in the head by his childhood best friend Edward Batzig, Jr. Edward had struck Jason Sweeney in the head at least 4-5 times. At this point, Jason Sweeney had already collapsed from the result of being struck.
After Jason Sweeney collapsed from being struck in the head, Edward Batzig Jr, Nicholas Coia and Dominic Coia brutalized Jason Sweeney’s body several times until he was no longer breathing.
The way in which Nicholas Coia and Dominic Coia brutalized Jason Sweeney’s body was inhuman. They used an array of weapons such as a hatchet, a hammer, and a rock.
What did the teenagers do after the murder of Jason Sweeney?
After the four teenagers: Justina Morley, Nicholas Coia, Dominic Coia and Edward Batzig, Jr murdered Jason Sweeney this is what the teenagers got up to.
- They stole $500 from Jason Sweeney
This is money that he had earned from working at his dads factory
- The teenagers split the money amongst each other and each used the money in different ways
- Justina Morley, Nicholas Coia, Dominic Coia and Edward Batzig, Jr used the $500 to purchase jewelry and a range of illicit drugs such as heroin, marijuana, and Xanax
- The teenagers used these drugs to have a crazy party in the woods named as the “The Trail”
The confession of the murder through different viewpoints
Edward Batzig, Jr’s confession is a harrowing recount of how Jason Sweeney begged for his life when he, Nicholas Coia and Dominic Coia were badly brutalizing him.
According to Edward Batzig, Jr, Jason Sweeney constantly begged for his life. He had also said that Jason Sweeney kept telling them to stop hitting him because he was already bleeding. But yet, the teenagers refused to stop. It was at this point that Edward said he picked up an ax and continue to beat Jason Sweeney. Edward Batzig, Jr also said that the teenagers finished Jason Sweeney by throwing a large rock at his head which ultimately killed him.
Dominic Coia also confessed to the murder of Jason Sweeney. According to Dominic Coia, the four teenagers had planned the murder days in advance. Apparently, a part of their idea to murder Jason Sweeney was instigated by the lyrics they had heard in the Beatles song Helter Skelter.
There was a witness to the murder, a friend of Dominic Coia who also came forth to provide authorities with information that he had about the murder as a result of Dominic Coia telling him.
This witness is Joshua Staab. According to Staab, the four teenagers had planned the Jason Sweeney murder by using Justina Morley as bait in order to get Jason Sweeney to show up at a place where no one would see them murdering him.
As mentioned earlier, the bait set by Justina Morley was under the guise and promise of sex. Joshua Staab further went and said that Edward Batzig, Jr knew that Jason Sweeney would be carrying his paycheck with him when he would meet up with Justina Morley.
Could drugs be a factor in this murder aside from money?
Hearing the confessions from Dominic Coia and Edward Batzig, Jr it can be presumed that the whole reason as to why the four teenagers murdered Jason Sweeney had to do with jealousy that he was earning more than them and also could be due to the fact that they wanted that money for themselves to fuel their drug lust.
Let’s take a look at the history of Justina Morley, who was the one who lured Jason Sweeney in the first place and the one who had a huge part to play in his murder.
At the age of 10, Justina Morley was already reliant on drugs. According to reports, she began using marijuana, prescription pills and snorting cocaine at a very young age. It can be presumed that it was this fact, using drugs at a young age that drove her desire to find a way to get more money to buy more drugs.
The conviction of the murderers
- Justina Morley Her lawyers argued that Justina Morley suffered a long history of drug abuse and mental illness and pleaded that when the murder of Jason Sweeney took place, she was not in a right frame of mind.
They had also pleaded that she be tried as a juvenile so that she may be free at the age of 21 and may receive treatment.
However, the court argued that Justina Morley had already received treatment for an apparent suicide attempt a few years before this incident. The court also argued that Justina Morley had a huge part to play Jason Sweeney’s murder.
When the court denied the plea for juvenile detention, Justina Morley confessed to the crimes of committing third-degree murder and testified against the other three teenagers involved in the crime.
As a result of this, Justina Morley was sentenced to 17 to 35 years in prison in 2003.
- Nicholas Coia, Dominic Coia and Edward Batzig, Jr
The three teenagers who were the ones who brutalized Jason Sweeney and ultimately killed him were all charged with first-degree murder.Additionally, the three teenagers were also charged with conspiracy, robbery, and possession of an instrument of the crime.
Since the nature of their crime was so extreme, they were all tried as adults even though they were all below the age of 18 years old.