It took a month to ID her body. Law school student’s fiancé now convicted of murder

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

A 42-year-old man whose fiancée’s body was found dismembered in a bag at the edge of San Francisco Bay was convicted of murder Monday.

A jury in Alameda County found Joseph C. Roberts guilty of second-degree murder for killing his girlfriend, Rachel Elizabeth Imani Buckner, 27, and disposing of her body along the shoreline last year.

Roberts faces 15 years to life in prison, and is set to be sentenced on June 14, according to KTVU Fox 2.

“Today means I can breathe a little bit easier,” Buckner’s mother, S. Jamila Buckner, said on the courthouse steps, according to the station.

Buckner’s body was found July 20 near the Bay Farm Island Bridge spanning the San Leandro Channel. Authorities initially had little information to go on because the body was dismembered, investigators told Bay Area news station KTVU.

Police identified Buckner through DNA evidence on Aug. 30 and a week later arrested Roberts.

The two lived together in Pleasanton. They had met at Golden Gate University School of Law.

Buckner, who earlier graduated from Howard University, was just a few months shy of graduation from law school when she was killed.

“To anyone that got to know and be around Imani, she was a beautiful and radiant light,” her mother said at the time.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.