A jury in Alameda County on Monday reached a guilty verdict in the trial of Joseph Roberts, who was accused in the killing of his girlfriend, 27-year-old Rachel "Imani" Buckner — whose dismembered torso was discovered on the Alameda shoreline last summer.

The body was discovered, wrapped in plastic and duct tape, near a footpath by the Bay Farm Island Bridge on Alameda in July 2023. Its head, hands, and feet had been removed and those have still never been found.

It would be nearly two months before the body was identified as Buckner's, and Buckner had never been reported missing. As we learned last September, after Roberts' arrest, Buckner had become estranged from her family as she got more involved with Roberts, whom she met while both were studying law at Golden Gate University.

Roberts' DNA was reportedly found on the duct tape that was used to wrap up Buckner's body, but the prosecution's case largely rested on circumstantial evidence. As Bay Area News Group reports, police identified a small bone fragment identified as Buckner's near the bath drain in the couple's Pleasanton apartment, but little to no blood evidence was ever found in the apartment — where a neighbor testified to smelling the strong scent of the cleaning product Fabuloso in the days following Buckner's presumed murder.

Prosecutors also pointed to the fact that Roberts ripped out all of the carpeting in the apartment, where he and Buckner were reportedly behind on rent and facing eviction.

Neighbors also testified to hearing loud arguments coming from the couple's apartment, including hearing Roberts screaming "Shut the fuck up!" The police were called to the apartment on multiple occasions, and prosecutors said that Pleasanton police had failed to intervene in what was clearly a case of domestic violence. At trial, prosecutors said police had 17 separate reports of loud arguments and likely domestic violence at the apartment, but when they came to the scene they either left after knocking on the door a few times, or after taking Buckner's word that she was fine.

Deputy District Attorney Colleen Clark said in closing arguments, per Bay Area News Group, "The police let him get away with it," referring to Roberts's lying and abusing Buckner repeatedly. "They’re up there chit chatting, laughing, talking to him about golf and allowing him to continue to abuse Imani."

Though this likely wasn't discussed in the trial, Roberts also was, ironically, a vocal advocate for falsely accused men in college harrassment and assault cases, after he claimed to have been falsely accused of harassment by sorority sisters at Savannah State University in Georgia. The Trump administration and former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos even used him as a poster child for the counterpoint of the #MeToo movement, and Roberts penned his own op-ed about his case in USA Today.

He was reportedly active in San Francisco Republican politics prior to his arrest.

Defense attorneys argued that the prosecution's theory of the case was almost entirely based on "speculation," and even the date and time of the killing can't be known. Also Roberts's DNA was never found on the torso, which was apparently never swabbed by investigators.

The mountain of circumstantial evidence — which also included Roberts's odd behavior after the crime, and cellphone evidence that placed him on Alameda where the body was discovered — proved too great, and the jury returned their verdict Monday after several days of deliberations.

Roberts faces 15 year to life in prison, and will be sentenced on June 14.

Previously: More Details Emerge In Pleasanton Murder and Dismemberment Case During Preliminary Hearing