San Diego

Man Who Stuffed Dead Co-Worker Into Suitcase To Spend Life in Prison

What to Know

  • Shauna Haynes' body was discovered by a man who lives near The Chadwick Hotel on April 6, 2016.
  • The two worked together at the Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant. Prosecutors described Palmer as a platonic friend of the defendant.
  • Palmer was convicted of murder during rape, murder during sodomy and murder during sexual penetration.

A San Diego man convicted of raping and killing a co-worker in a jealous rage then stuffing her body in a suitcase will spend the rest of his life in prison, a judge ruled Friday. 

Convicted murderer Joshua Palmer asked family and friends of 21-year-old Shauna Haynes — who was found dead on April 6, 2016, inside a suitcase left near trash bins outside The Chadwick apartment building in downtown San Diego — to forgive him before he was sentenced. 

"Forgive me so God can help you heal and restore to you the peace and joy and love you deserve," Palmer said. "Forgive me not for my sake but your own."

The family did not offer any forgiveness when, one by one, they stood in front of the court to share words. 

"I don’t want to spend this time focusing on what happened to her and the person who has done it. He knows what he did and he has to live with that for the rest of his life," Shauna Haynes' sister Jeanette said. 

The family shared memories of the 21-year-old's life and detailed the first moment they met their adopted daughter, taking her out to dinner where they were surprised when the four-year-old ordered a salad. 

"Shauna will never be able to take her children to a restaurant," her mother Shirley Hayes said." She will never be surprised by what her child might say or do. You took that away from her, away from me." 

Prosecutors described the victim as a platonic friend of the defendant.  The two worked together at the Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant.

Palmer killed her after he watched Haynes, who he desired as a girlfriend, have sex with two other people in his apartment, prosecutors said.

Palmer said the two had a fight after having sex with two other people. 

"We had sex, it was completely consensual. She rolled over and went to sleep and I pulled out my phone and I started to videotape her. I made some videotapes and she caught me and she freaked out. She freaked out," Palmer told a police detective in a recorded interview played during the trial.

At that point, Haynes ran out of the room. according to Palmer. He said that was the last time he saw her.

"You threw Shauna away in the trash because that’s what you thought of her and to cover up the fact that you killed her," friend Karen Schreiner said at the sentencing Friday. "I cannot accept your excuses for killing her. You had choices."

The day Haynes' body was discovered, Palmer called 911 to file a false missing person report.

In the call, Palmer tells a dispatcher he last saw Haynes, who he referred to as his girlfriend, at 12:30 in the morning on Tuesday and she has bipolar disorder.

Palmer sent text messages from the victim’s cellphone to family members to make it appear as if Haynes was still alive.

Jurors did not believe Palmer's account that the sex was consensual and convicted him of murder during rape, murder during sodomy and murder during sexual penetration.

When the judge sentenced Palmer Friday, she said, "I expected you to show some remorse. I expected you to accept responsibility for how her life ended. I am truly saddened to see that, after all the evidence that the jury heard in this case...that you still want to blame everybody else but yourself."

Palmer does not have the possibility for parole. 

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