The Times West Virginian

January 17, 2014

Michael Palmer wants wife to testify

Among motions in pre-trial hearing before murder trial

By Kristen Talerico
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Only days before Michael Palmer’s murder trial, set to start on Tuesday, Jan. 21, defense filed a number of motions that were discussed in a pre-trial hearing Thursday afternoon in the courtroom of Judge Michael Aloi.

Palmer and his wife, Kristyn, are both charged with the first-degree murder of her father, Everett “Ed” Wilson, on Dec. 11, 2011, at their Baxter home. He died following a single shot.

Defense made a motion requiring Kristyn Palmer, Michael’s wife, to appear and testify on behalf of her husband. The defendant desires to call his wife to the stand to testify regarding a number of issues that could be beneficial to his defense

Some of these issues include when the parties were married, how long they lived in West Virginia, how long they lived above the beauty shop in Rivesville, her father’s propensity for violence (including the fact that he beat her mother and killed a dog), the arrangements Kristyn made for her father’s funeral, etc.

Palmer’s attorneys, Sean Murphy and Rebecca Tate, also requested an order precluding the state from calling particular witnesses in the trial.

Another motion called to exclude any evidence of computer and Internet usage after Dec. 11, 2011, in particular the Internet search that included the defendant researching potential charges related to the death of Ed Wilson.

A motion to suppress statements of Kristyn Palmer’s was also filed and stated the recordings were all made after the event for which the defendant is on trial and at the time when the defendant was clearly under a tremendous amount of psychological strain.

Murphy said in regard to this particular evidence, “There is no purpose for this evidence but to prejudice the defendant.”

The final motion was one to exclude state’s computer evidence. This evidence included a Facebook message purportedly from the defendant to Jason Antonk, that contained arguably insulting language to West Virginia residents, a narrative purportedly penned by the defendant regarding issues that he was having with a former employment, a photo of a gun on what appears to be Kristyn Palmer’s arm and a photo of a child holding a firearm.

In a final plea to Judge Aloi, the defense asked again to narrow down the 1,500 Facebook pages to a more precise list.

Murphy said, “Tell us what you are going to use. You do not have to use the dirt to authenticate the documents.”

Marion County Prosecuting Attorney, Patrick Wilson said exhibit lists will be made available for the defense at the trial.

Originally, the shooting had been described as a domestic incident in which Everett “Ed” Wilson attempted to enter the Palmers’ residence, damaging the front door, with Michael Palmer shooting him once in the torso. Wilson was pronounced dead on the scene by the state medical examiner.

Both Palmers were arrested in June 2012 and indicted by a Marion County grand jury for first-degree murder. Kristyn Palmer had already had been arrested for 10 felony counts each of forgery and uttering after allegedly forging and cashing $4,750 worth of checks on her deceased father’s account, some written before but all cashed after his death.

Michael Palmer’s murder trial is set to start at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at the Marion County Courthouse.

Email Kristen Talerico at ktalerico@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @KTalericoTWV.