Muscatine man charged with first-degree murder in shooting death of 18-year-old

The Muscatine County Attorney said at first the man called 911 and claimed the teen shot herself – but he later admitted to shooting her in an interview w...

MUSCATINE, Iowa -- A Muscatine man is accused of shooting and killing an 18-year-old woman.

David J.S. Hatfield, age 23, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of 18-year-old Kaitlyn Palmer from Muscatine, according to Muscatine County Attorney Alan Ostergren.

David Hatfield, image from online jail records


On Wednesday, October 16, Hatfield called 911 to report that his girlfriend had shot herself at the Saulbury Recreation Area, which is a campground in a rural part of Muscatine County, said Ostergren.  In an interview with Hatfield after the shooting, police said Hatfield admitted to shooting Palmer, and "further admitted having fired a practice shot before doing so."

Palmer sustained a gunshot wound to the head and was taken to the hospital in Iowa City, said Ostergren.  She passed away from her injury on Thursday.

Hatfield was initially charged with attempt to commit murder and was held in the Muscatine County Jail on $1 million bond.  The first degree murder charge was filed on Friday.  A preliminary hearing is set for October 28 at 9 a.m.