Teen accused of strangling boyfriend during sex charged as adult

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by Jennifer Thomas / AZfamily

KMOV.com

Posted on January 23, 2014 at 9:18 AM

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A Glendale teen accused of strangling her 43-year-old boyfriend during sex is being charged as an adult, according to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.

Jessica Burlew faces a second-degree murder charge.

Burlew was arrested after Jason Ash, of Phoenix, was found dead Saturday evening in an apartment near Olive and 63rd avenues in Glendale.

Burlew's mother called 911 from a neighbor's cellphone and while she was making the call, the teen fled the scene.

The woman told police that she had left the apartment while her daughter and Ash were inside. She said she later got a call from her daughter saying that she and Ash were involved in a consensual sex act involving strangulation and the man had died.

The woman said she returned to the apartment and found Ash in bed with his pants undone and an electrical cord around his neck. She attempted to render life-saving measures.

An officer had a brief conversation with Burlew when she called the neighbor's phone in an attempt to reach her mother. She reportedly provided the false name of Xenia Nex and said she was scared. She would not agree to return to the scene.

While detectives were investigating, a female wearing a burka walked by the scene and into the neighbor's apartment. Neighbors still recognized her by her facial piercings and detectives took her into custody.

In addition to the electrical cord around his neck, police said Ash also had cuts to his arms, face and body.

According to Maricopa County Superior Court documents, police searched the apartment and found medical paperwork addressing a self-mutilation incident involving Burlew, razor blades on the bed, a piece of paper with song lyrics referencing "change or die" and another piece of paper containing a reference to being a "human sculpture."

Police said Burlew's bedroom contained numerous items associated with a "goth" lifestyle. Police found Marilyn Manson photos on her wall, black leather boots and dog collars designed for humans.

Burlew's mother said the teen has a history of cutting herself "as a release," according to the court paperwork.

Burlew reportedly told her mother that she and Ash were playing sex games and he was cut and choked. She said Ash did not say the "safety word," the documents stated. Burlew told police that they would often engage in such acts prior to sex.

Burlew told police that after she strangled Ash, she began cutting him with a razor blade in an attempt to get a response since he appeared to have passed out, according to the court documents. After she didn't get a response, she said she continued to cut him in order to alleviate her stress from the situation.

Police said that Burlew was listed as a missing juvenile from a group home in Phoenix.

Former prosecutor Mark Anderson provided insight into the case, saying a mental competency evaluation should come first.

He also said Burlew is technically a victim because she is a minor, and the court will examine her relationship with Ash.

"(It's) certainly not a typical murder case," he said. "What their past history is, that's going to be certainly relevant."

Burlew's mother declined to comment.

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