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Lake Elsinore man gets 56 years in prison for killing girlfriend

September 07, 2013|By Harriet Ryan
  • Joseph David Dorsey of Lake Elsinore was sentenced to at least 56 years in prison for strangling his girlfriend.
Joseph David Dorsey of Lake Elsinore was sentenced to at least 56 years in… (Riverside County Sheriff's…)

A Riverside County man who strangled his girlfriend and then used her credit card to buy himself a milkshake has been sentenced to at least 56 years in prison.

In handing down the sentence, Superior Court Judge Mark Mandio cited the callousness that Joseph David Dorsey displayed in the August 2012 murder of substance abuse counselor Christine Stewart Osborn.

Dorsey, a 29-year-old from Lake Elsinore with a long rap sheet, stuffed the body of the petite Osborn into a rolling suitcase and left it in a Best Western motel in Poway. He fled to Mexico where he was arrested.

A jury convicted him of first-degree murder in June.

Dorsey admitted during a police interrogation that he used his hands and a cellphone charger cord to strangle Osborn in the bedroom of his apartment, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise. To make sure she was dead, he held her head underwater in a bathtub, he told police. He said he had “snapped” after the victim insulted him and his family, the paper reported.

Dorsey’s lawyer told the judge that the slaying was a “crime of passion” and not premeditated. A prosecutor noted that Dorsey had shown no remorse, paying for a milkshake at Denny’s with her credit card shortly after the killing.

Relatives told the judge the family was devastated by the senseless killing of Osborn, who worked for Riverside County in a program helping mothers struggling with addiction and mental health problems.


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