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California Man Sentenced to Jail for 15 years after Killing Girlfriend and Dumping Her Chopped Body Parts near Beach in San Francisco: Prosecutors Reveal

California Man Sentenced to Jail for 15 years after Killing Girlfriend and Dumping Her Chopped Body Parts near Beach in San Francisco: Prosecutors Reveal

A California man has been sentenced to spend the next 15 years to life in prison for the murder of his girlfriend. He was found guilty of chopping up her body and disposing of the remains in the San Francisco Bay.

A jury convicted Joseph Roberts, 43, of second-degree murder in the tragic death of Rachel Elizabeth “Imani” Buckner, 27. On Tuesday, Judge Scott Patton of the Alameda County Superior Court handed down the sentence.

Prosecutors have stated that on July 20, 2023, a concerned passerby contacted the police upon discovering a suspicious black garbage bag near the Bay Farm Island Bridge. Authorities discovered a dismembered body in Alameda. Due to the absence of the victim’s head, feet, and hands, law enforcement officials were unable to confirm Buckner’s identity until Aug. 30, when DNA testing was conducted.

Prosecutors revealed that investigators discovered Roberts’ DNA on the duct tape that was used to wrap the garbage bag containing Buckner’s body.

Roberts and Buckner became acquainted while attending Golden Gate University Law School in 2019 and later shared a living space in Pleasanton. According to prosecutors, Pleasanton police officers have been called to their apartment on numerous occasions for welfare checks and domestic violence incidents. Roberts failed to notify authorities about his girlfriend’s disappearance, even though they shared a home. Roberts was apprehended by law enforcement in September.

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Prosecutors explained in an email to Law&Crime that the charge of second-degree murder was the highest they could pursue, as they were unable to establish premeditation. During the sentencing hearing, Patton addressed the packed courtroom and discussed the complexities of the case.

According to the Pleasanton Weekly, the medical examiner classified the manner of death as a homicide but was unable to determine the specific cause. According to him, the details of the murder were extremely brutal.

Two individuals, Buckner and Roberts, were apprehended in 2022 for reportedly unlawfully entering the residence of Buckner’s mother and engaging in physical altercations with her family. According to reports, Roberts referred to Buckner as his fiancée.

According to her mother, she was able to empathize with her daughter’s pain as reported by Law and Crime.

Last year, during an evidentiary hearing, Alameda police officer Michael Tangataevaha provided testimony regarding a search conducted in the couple’s apartment. The search revealed that the carpets had been removed from the unit recently, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. According to the officer, all that was left was the carpet padding.

The paper reports that another investigator provided testimony regarding the search of the apartment immediately after Roberts’ arrest. Annie, a highly skilled canine with a remarkable sense of smell, immediately directed her attention to a mop in the kitchen and alerted her handler, as testified. Later, Annie hurried down the hallway and came to a halt, settling down at the foot of the couple’s bed.

Later, Annie entered the bathroom and promptly notified her handler about an object in close proximity to the bathtub. Investigators discovered potential blood marks on the bathroom door and ceiling. Annie, on the other hand, put her head in the washing machine without notifying her handler, according to their testimony.

According to officers, a search warrant revealed that Roberts’ phone records indicated a connection with Buckner’s phone on July 13, approximately one week prior to the discovery of the body by a passerby. Officials have revealed that Roberts continued to use Buckner’s phone even after her passing. It is also claimed that he had possession of her vehicle.

Officers have observed that Roberts has been in contact with at least three other women since that time.

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