Murder charge filed in death of Muscatine woman

Today, October 18, 2019, Muscatine County Attorney Alan R. Ostergren announced that a charge of murder in the first degree was filed today against DAVID J.S. HATFIELD, 23, of Muscatine.

On October 16, 2019, the Muscatine County Joint Communications Center received a 911 call from HATFIELD stating that his girlfriend had shot herself at the Saulsbury Recreation Area in rural Muscatine County. The criminal complaint alleges that in a subsequent interview HATFIELD admitted to having shot the victim and that he further admitted having fired a practice shot before doing so.

The victim of this incident is Kaitlyn Palmer, 18, of Muscatine. Palmer died at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics on October 17, 2019. The cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head.

HATFIELD was previously charged with attempt to commit murder in connection with this incident. His bond is currently set at $1,000,000 cash only. He remains in custody in the Muscatine County Jail. His next court appearance will be a preliminary hearing on October 28, 2019, at 9:00 a.m.

Murder in the first degree is a class “A” felony punishable by life imprisonment.

This incident was investigated by the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office, the Muscatine Police Department, and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

A criminal charge is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent.