Man found guilty of murdering woman, stuffing corpse in suitcase

SAN DIEGO – A San Diego man who strangled a female acquaintance after watching her have sex with two other people, then stuffed her body into a suitcase that was put out with the trash outside a downtown hotel, was found guilty Thursday.

Joshua Matthew Palmer, 34, has been convicted of first-degree murder and murder during a rape, sodomy and sexual penetration.  Palmer will be sentenced on June 22 and faces life in prison without parole.

The victim's mother and sister sobbed as the verdicts were read.

"They very much miss Shauna Haynes, and I think they'd like to put this part of the process behind them," Deputy District Attorney Martin Doyle said of the family.

Palmer, 34, will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on June 22.

Shauna Haynes' corpse was found in a suitcase that was put out with the trash outside the Chadwick Hotel on A Street in downtown San Diego in April 2016.

Witness Chelsea Shea testified during a preliminary hearing that she had drinks with Palmer at a bar on April 4, 2016, and agreed to go back to his room at the Chadwick Hotel on A Street. She and Palmer were having sex when Haynes arrived with a man named Anthony Kern, Shea testified.

The witness testified that she, Kern and Haynes eventually had sex together, but Palmer “just stood there,” then “told us to leave.”

Shea testified that she left with Kern and asked Haynes if she wanted to come along, but Haynes said she wanted to stay with Palmer.