SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Sarasota man is accused of strangling his girlfriend and then hanging her from a noose in her garage apartment to make it look like she committed suicide.
Brian Wilson, 47, is charged with murder in connection with the death of Jennifer Copeland, 43, of Sarasota.
On Nov. 28, 2015 at 2:30 a.m., Sarasota Police Officers responded to 1146 Patterson Drive for a possible burglary in progress. When Officers arrived, they found Copeland deceased, inside the garage apartment.
Copeland’s mother had called police after noticing that a glass slate had been removed from the entrance door of the main residence. She feared someone may have broken in.
Copeland’s mother told police that on Nov. 27, Wilson showed her a hangman’s noose that was hanging in the rafters of the garage. Copeland told Wilson to take the noose down, according to an arrest affidavit.
Investigators say witnesses told them that Wilson had confessed to killing Copeland.
“Wilson confessed that he strangled Jennifer with his hands and that it took a long time for her to die,” said the affidavit. He allegedly told witnesses that she would not shut up, “So I had to shut her up.” Witnesses also said that Wilson had planned to kill Copeland’s mother.
Wilson was arrested in Hendry County on an unrelated DUI charge on Nov. 28. Detectives made contact with him at the jail.
Wilson was charged with murder.