Day 5: Michael Palmer Trial - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Day 5: Michael Palmer Trial

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We are now officially one week into the Michael Palmer murder trial in Harrison County.

The jury heard from several witnesses throughout the past week including law enforcement, Palmers neighbors, friends of Ed Wilson, and more.

Michael Palmer along with his wife Kristyn are accused of shooting and killing her father, Ed Wilson, in 2011.

Fairmont attorney, Gina Fantasia, was the first to take the stand Friday morning.

Fantasia testified that she worked on a deed that would transfer a piece of Ed Wilson's property to the Palmers.

She told the jury the deed was signed by the parties on November 8, 2011. It was filed in the Marion County Circuit Clerk's office two days later.

Fantasia told the jury that Palmer reached out to her office saying the transferred property was the wrong one. Wilson accidentally signed over his residence to the Palmers, instead of the one nearby.

Fantasia's testimony was cut short due to attorney client privileges.

Michael Palmer's cell mate in 2012, Jason Earl, was next to take the stand.

Earl told the jury he was serving time on drug charges when Palmer was arrested.

Earl said he got along with Palmer very well and they often talked to each other about their cases.

Earl told the jury at first Palmer made the story about Ed Wilson's death sound like self-defense. As time went on, his story changed.

Marion County Prosecutor, Pat Wilson, asked Earl what he remembered Palmer saying to him about the murder in their conversations.

Earl explained Palmer made it seem like Ed Wilson was the bad guy and then the story developed into that he cut the Palmers off financially and they had an ongoing dispute.

According to Earl, Palmer told him Ed Wilson was selling his business, cars, and assets. Meanwhile, he was spending all of his money on another woman and his son Dustin.

Earl said Palmer believed something needed to be done so his wife Kristyn would get her inheritance before all of the money was gone. Earl believed Ed Wilson wanting to sell her mothers beauty shop was the final straw for the Palmers.

Palmer allegedly told Earl that he knew Ed Wilson always carried a gun on him and he would be able to claim self defense. Earl said Palmer told him that he would provoke Ed Wilson in a number of different ways to get him upset.

Earl told the jury Palmer told him that he and Ed Wilson had several altercations on the phone the night of the shooting. When Wilson came to the house, Palmer shot him. Earl said that Palmer was expecting him to have a gun on his person. When he didn't, Palmer told Earl that he went into Ed Wilson's truck to find the one he kept in the center console. Instead he found brass knuckles and placed them in Ed Wilson's hand, according to Earl's testimony.

Earl told the jury that he told him mom and his lawyer about what Palmer was telling him. The message was to be relayed to the Marion County Prosecutor. Earl said he didn't get any leniency in his sentencing in exchange for the information.

When Prosecutor Pat Wilson asked Earl why he came to testify, he replied: "I don't think its right to kill someone and get away with it."

During cross examination, Defense Attorney Sean Murphy went into more detail about Earl's drug charges.

He asked Earl if he knew what "jumping on a case" was all about, in which Earl said yes.

Earl told him its when someone tries to get information about another inmate in order to help themselves out.

Murphy brought up his indictments, in which he had four drug charges. Each count equaled 1-5 years in prison.

"You got 1-5 instead of 4-20," Murphy said to Earl. He also made the point that alternative sentencing was denied in the likelihood Earl would commit the crime again.

In another indictment, it showed Earl could face up to 3-25 years in the state prison.

Again Murphy said: "You got 2-10 instead of 7-45".

Earl continued his testimony saying he got no benefits in giving Palmers information to his attorney.

Murphy brought up a second incident where Earl told authorities information about another inmates case while he was in jail.

"You immediately began to think of ways to help yourself," Murphy said to Earl.

Earl acknowledged that he did give authorities information about that inmate.

Murphy brought up the statement Earl gave to Marion County authorities about Palmer on October 19, 2012.

In that statement, he told police he read letters between Kristyn and Michael, that 'he guessed' the Palmers lured Ed Wilson to the residence, and he originally didn't know who actually shot him.

He did tell police in that statement that Michael told him both Palmers were armed because Kristyn was afraid her father would shoot her dogs. Later, Palmer told him he shot Ed Wilson went he walked through the door.

Also in the statement, Murphy said Earl told police he would help find out more information if they needed him to.

Earl told the jury that at one point Palmer was offered a plea deal and he made the comment "3-15 for killing your father-in-law ain't bad."

Murphy also noted that the day Earl made his statement to the police, he also accepted a plea from the Wood County Prosecutors office the same day.

Next on the stand was Amy Shanahan. She was a forensic analysis for the West Virginia State Police at the time of Ed Wilson's death.

She told the jury her area of expertise at the time was forensic biology.

Shanahan said in January of 2013 she received two submissions of evidence, each containing four separate pieces.

She told the jury the two boxes included the AK-47, fired bullet, brass knuckles, two fired cartridges, two swabs of the kitchen counter, and two gun shot residue kits.

Shanahan told the jury she checked the fired bullet and swabs for blood and the results were negative.

The other items were photographed, noted they were received, and placed in an evidence vault, according to Shanahan.

In cross examination, Murphy asked Shanahan if she knew how long it was that the police took the swabs from the countertop before they were submitted to her lab.

She didn't know the answer to that question.

The shooting took place on December 11, 2001. Shanahan did not receive the pieces of evidence until January 5 and January 20, 2013.

Testimony will continue on Monday morning.

Court officials originally said the Palmer trial would last about two weeks. They suspect it could last longer then that. Stick with 12 News throughout the process.

For past stories, click on the link.

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