Woman sentenced to life in prison for murder of her mother, who was stabbed nearly 100 times

OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — A woman who stabbed her mother to death has been sentenced to life in prison.

Julia Copenhaver was found guilty of stabbing her mother nearly 100 times, killing her in 2018.

Closing arguments in the case took place Tuesday morning.

The jury unanimously sentenced Copenhaver to life in prison without parole.

The Oak Island Police Department responded to 139 NE 2nd Street for a welfare check on October 25, 2018. Earlier that day, Brunswick County 911 center received two phone calls from family members of Susan Copenhaver reporting that Julia Copenhaver, Susan’s daughter, may have hurt Susan at the family’s Oak Island vacation home.

Upon officer’s arrival, Julia Copenhaver opened the door of the home covered in her mother’s blood. After a search of the residence by officers, Susan Copenhaver’s partially dismembered body was located in a closet. Susan Copenhaver had been stabbed more than 90 times.

It was determined Julia Copenhaver had moved back home with her mother and father in northern Virginia after suffering some sort of mental health breakdown. Tensions between Julia and her mother had grown in the ensuing weeks, culminating in Susan Copenhaver driving down to the family’s Oak Island vacation home to allow things to settle between the two and to check on the home after the landfall of Hurricane Florence.

On October 24, 2018, Julia Copenhaver, along with the family’s Chevy Tahoe, went missing from their Virginia home. A frantic search began
for her. No one had any contact with Julia Copenhaver until the morning of October 25, 2018, when she answered her mother’s cell phone when her brother attempted to contact Susan Copenhaver.

Julia informed her brother that their mother was dead and in a closet. Her brother, and another family member, contacted the Brunswick County 911
Center to request a welfare check on Susan Copenhaver. The investigation revealed that Julia left Virginia in the family Tahoe, destroying her phone and SIM card on the way to the Oak Island home.

Investigators located blood covered knives, scissors, and other tools at the crime scene. A medical examiner for the State of North Carolina testified as to the more than 90 stab wounds and multiple blunt force injuries sustained by Susan Copenhaver.

Categories: Brunswick, Local, News, Top Stories