MURRIETA (CBS/AP) — A Riverside County man has been convicted of killing his girlfriend then stuffing her body into a suitcase he left at a motel.

The District Attorney’s office says an eight-woman, four-man jury Thursday found 28-year-old Joseph David Dorsey guilty of one count of first-degree murder. Deliberations lasted about three hours.

Prosecutors claim the parolee killed 47-year-old Christine Stewart last August at his Lake Elsinore apartment.

Stewart was a behavioral health specialist at a county drug rehabilitation facility and authorities say the two were dating when she went missing.

Her body was later found inside a rolling suitcase at a motel in northern San Diego County.

Dorsey fled the country and was arrested October 23, 2012, in the area of Rosarito, Mexico.

He could face up to 57 years to life in state prison.

Dorsey had two prior convictions.

He was sentenced to three years in prison for assault and battery on a peace officer in 2006, and received a one-year prison sentence last June for attempted burglary.

Dorsey was freed with credit for time served and with additional credit to minimize overcrowding in state prisons in the latest incident.

A sentencing date in the Stewart case is scheduled to be set during a post-trial conference Monday.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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