Pretrial conference for Hatfield scheduled today

Pretrial conference for Hatfield scheduled today

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MUSCATINE — A pretrial conference for accused murderer David J.S. Hatfield is scheduled for today after the previous scheduled pretrial hearing was continued last month.

According to court records, assistant attorney general Monty Platz will meet with defense attorney Derek Jones to determine evidence to admit or exclude. A trial date has not been set yet. According to the documents, the previous pretrial hearing was rescheduled to give defense counsel time to review discovery and to work on disclosing expert witnesses. The record said the conference may be done by phone if necessary. A trial date may be scheduled at the conference.

Hatfield, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Kaitlyn Sky Palmer, 18, entered a written plea of not guilty to the charge.

According to the Muscatine County Attorney Alan R. Ostergren, Hatfield called 911 on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, saying Palmer shot herself in the head at the Saulsbury Recreation Area in rural Muscatine County. During the investigation, Hatfield admitted to shooting Palmer in the head and later said he fired a practice shot first.

Palmer was taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics where she died Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019.

Hatfield is being held in the Muscatine County Jail on a $1 million case only bond. 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.

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