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Muscatine County jury finds man guilty of killing girlfriend

June 25, 2021 GMT

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) — A Muscatine County jury on Friday found a man guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend.

Jurors found David Hatfield guilty in the death of 18-year-old Kaitlyn Palmer, according to the Muscatine Journal.

Prosecutors had said Hatfield shot Palmer in the head with a .22-caliber handgun as she slept at Saulsbury Recreation Area in rural Muscatine County. Prosecutors argued Hatfield shot Palmer because of an unwanted pregnancy.

Defense lawyers contended Palmer shot herself.

First-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence in Iowa of life in prison. Hatfield is scheduled to be sentenced July 30.