San Diego

Man Guilty of Killing Co-Worker, Stuffing Her in Suitcase

Joshua Matthew Palmer faces life without parole following Thursday's verdict

What to Know

  • Shauna Haynes' body was discovered by a man who lives near The Chadwick Hotel on April 6, 2016.
  • Palmer told a 911 dispatch operator he last saw his girlfriend after she left his apartment to use the communal bathroom.
  • The defense admits Palmer lied to police and sent text messages from the victim's phone because he "panicked."

A San Diego man was convicted Thursday of raping and killing a co-worker in a jealous rage then stuffing her body in a suitcase found outside of his downtown apartment.

Shauna Haynes, 21, was found dead on April 6, 2016, inside a suitcase left near trash bins outside The Chadwick, an apartment building at A Street and 7th Avenue.

Her former co-worker Joshua Palmer killed Haynes after he watched Haynes, who he desired as a girlfriend, have sex with two other people in his apartment, prosecutors told jurors.

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.

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.

Haynes' mother and sister were in court Thursday to hear the verdict.

At his sentencing on June 22, Palmer faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

Friends and co-workers of the victim testified that Palmer had sent misleading text messages to them after the discovery of Haynes’ body.

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

However, the defense attorney told jurors that Palmer was in love with Haynes and that the victim had planned to move in with Palmer. 

Palmer lied to police because he panicked, his attorney told jurors.

The San Diego County District Attorney’s office has charged Palmer with murder and special circumstance allegations of murder during a rape. He’s also charged with murder during sodomy and murder during a rape by an instrument.

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