A San Diego jury convicted Joshua Matthew Palmer of first-degree murder with an allegation of committing the murder in the commission of rape, sodomy or sexual penetration for the April 5, 2016, murder of 21-year-old Shauna Haynes. He was sentenced in 2018 to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Deputy District Attorney Martin Doyle said Palmer videotaped himself doing “unspeakable things” to his co-worker Shauna Haynes' body after he killed her at the Chadwick Hotel in downtown San Diego on April 5. Her body was discovered inside the suitcase in a trash bin outside the hotel the next day.
On appeal, Palmer asserted he was entitled to a new trial because his defense attorney conceded to the jury that he killed Haynes in the heat of passion, while Palmer argued he accidentally caused Haynes' death.
The three-justice panel responded: “It appears that Palmer consistently changed his story, presenting a moving target for his attorney to follow, and it is clear that the defense counsel presented the best defense possible under the dire circumstances presented.”