A Florida man is behind bars after he admitted to staging the murder of his girlfriend to look like a suicide. WNCN News reports that 47-year-old Brian Wilson has been charged with the murder of 43-year-old Jennifer Copeland. The details surrounding this bizarre case are shocking, but the devotion of authorities in Sarasota have foiled the man’s attempts at evading justice.
The incident reportedly took place in the early-morning hours of November 28, after authorities had been called to a Sarasota residence on complaints of a possible burglary. Instead of stumbling upon a burglary, authorities with the Sarasota Police Department found a crime scene. The body of 43-year-old Jennifer Copeland inside her apartment. She was hanging from a noose.
The mother of the murder victim told authorities that the Florida man had been showing off a hangman’s noose the previous day. Wilson had reportedly hanged the noose from the rafters of the garage-apartment where the victim had been living. This likely prompted the authorities to question the man, who ultimately admitted to strangling his girlfriend and then staging the crime scene to make it look like she had taken her own life. Witnesses in the case have also told authorities that Wilson openly confessed to killing Jennifer Copeland. An arrest affidavit outlines the details which led to the Florida man’s arrest.
“Wilson confessed that he strangled Jennifer with his hands and that it took a long time for her to die.”
The man also made comments about how long it took for the woman to die when he strangled her with his bare hands. While no motive has been made clear in reports, Wilson noted that Copeland “would not shut up,” so he “had to shut her up.” The Florida man also reportedly planned to kill Copeland’s mother, who lived in the home attached to the garage apartment. At some point after Jennifer’s murder, she was hanged from the noose in an attempt to make her death look like a suicide.
This Florida man isn’t the only person to be accused of similar crimes. In 2012, a Kansas City, Missouri man was charged with murdering a young woman who was a member of the same prayer group as he. The 23-year-old man admitted to killing the woman, but only after authorities thought she killed herself. Her case was initially investigated as a suicide for a period of time. This year, authorities began investigating the death of a woman in Arkansas as a homicide, even though her death was apparently staged to look like a suicide. Emily Nash was found in her home with a single gunshot wound to the head. Her brother declared that someone killed his sister, staging her death to look like a suicide. Ultimately, a man was arrested in connection with her death.
Bizarre news like this latest case keeps Florida a trending topic on social media. In fact, it’s common to see the hashtag #FloridaMan on Twitter and Facebook as people all over the country share gruesome crimes and bizarre news out of the Sunshine State.
— CrimeFeed (@IDCrimeFeed) December 4, 2015
A Florida Man Chewed Off His Fingertips and Ate Them To A… => https://t.co/w8Yfm2C0LX pic.twitter.com/1L8gMG7yD2
— Healthy Life (@vhealthylife) November 30, 2015
In Brian Wilson’s case, there are few details about the man accused of killing his girlfriend and staging her death as a suicide. It’s not known at this time if he has an attorney to represent him in this case, nor is it known how much his bond amount is — if there even will be bond applied to his charge. Furthermore, authorities haven’t indicated whether or not he’s been charged with first-degree murder or some other murder charge. Meanwhile, the loved ones of the Sarasota woman he admitted to killing are mourning their loss — and the woman’s mother is lucky Wilson didn’t carry out his plans to kill her as well.
Photo: Sarasota Police Department mugshot