Man accused in downtown suitcase murder pleads not guilty - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man accused in downtown suitcase murder pleads not guilty

Posted: Updated:

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man accused of beating and strangling a female co- worker, then stuffing her body into a suitcase that was thrown out with the trash at a downtown San Diego hotel, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a murder charge.

Joshua Matthew Palmer, 33, faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted in the death of 21-year-old Shauna Haynes.

Judge David Szumowski ordered the defendant held on $2 million bail.

RELATED: Arrest made in downtown San Diego suitcase murder

Deputy District Attorney Martin Doyle told the judge that Palmer is accused of beating and strangling Haynes after the two returned to the Chadwick Hotel after a night out.

The prosecutor alleged that Palmer - a platonic friend of the victim who also worked with her at the Spaghetti Factory restaurant - stuffed Haynes' body into a suitcase and threw it out with the garbage.

Palmer - who was staying at the hotel - then made efforts to conceal the crime by sending false text messages to family and friends and cleaning up the crime scene, Doyle alleged.

Last Wednesday morning, a guest at the hotel in the 600 block of A Street found the suitcase containing the San Diego woman's body near a row of trash cans alongside a parking area at the rear of the three-story building, Lt. Ray Valentin said.

RELATED: Memorial for murder victim found in suitcase

Noticing what appeared to be hair protruding from a zipper on the case, the man made an emergency call. Patrol officers confirmed the death, then called in a homicide team. Palmer was arrested two days later.

A motive for the crime was not disclosed.

Palmer will be back in court April 28 for a status conference and June 13 for a preliminary hearing.


Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KFMB-TV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.