Jury finds Muscatine man guilty of murdering his girlfriend, faces life in prison

David Hatfield at the time of his arrest in Oct. 2019.

A Muscatine man faces life in prison, after being found guilty of murdering his girlfriend nearly two years ago.

Prosecutors said during last week’s trial of David Hatfield, 24, that he shot 18-year-old Kaitlyn Palmer in the head while she was sleeping at Saulsbury Bridge Recreation Area.

Palmer and Hatfield were in a relationship, and prosecutors said he killed her because she was pregnant.

Hatfield claimed Palmer shot herself when he called authorities on October 16, 2019. She died the next day at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

A Muscatine County jury found Hatfield guilty of first degree murder on Friday, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison. He will be sentenced at a hearing on July 30.