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Day 8: Michael Palmer Murder Trial

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Testimony continues on day 8 of a Marion County man's murder trial.

Michael Palmer and his wife Kristyn are accused of shooting and killing her father, Ed Wilson, at their Baxter home in 2011.

Marion County Deputy Donald Wheeler was the first to be called to the stand by Prosecutor Pat Wilson Wednesday morning.

Deputy Wheeler said he was one of the first on scene the night Ed Wilson was shot and killed. He told the jury that once he arrived, Michael and Kristyn Palmer were standing on the front porch, both calm, and showing little emotion.

Deputy Wheeler said he put Michael Palmer in handcuffs as part of the officer safety protocol and took him inside the front room to search him down. Once he was finished, he put Michael and Kristyn Palmer in two separate police cruisers for questioning.

He said he was on scene a little over two hours.

Next on the stand was Loretta Nester, the mother of Ed Wilson's grandson.

She told the jury she knew Ed Wilson for about 16 years before he died and she even lived with him and his wife, Linda, in their Baxter home for nearly two years while her son was a baby.

She said once she and Dustin, Ed Wilson's son, broke up she moved to another residence in Baxter.

Nester told the jury after Ed Wilson's wife Linda died in 2010, she knew he began to date Debra Tomlinson but didn't know exactly when.

Pat Wilson asked Nester if she ever heard Michael Palmer make any comments to Kristyn about Linda. She told the jury the day she met her, she said she heard him tell Kristyn: "There goes your inheritance".

She told the jury she would take her son over to Ed Wilson's residence a lot and they always wanted to spend time together.

When Pat Wilson asked her to recall Ed Wilson's attitude about the Palmers a week before or so before his death, Nester told the jury Ed Wilson was fed up with them and was no longer willing to help them financially.

Nester also said Ed Wilson told her he wanted all of his property and assets to go to her son if something happened to him.

During cross-examination, Defense Attorney Sean Murphy asked Nester when she met Ed Wilson's girlfriend Debra.

She told the jury Ed Wilson introduced Debra to her at his wife Linda's funeral as a friend.

Murphy asked her if people in the Baxter community were mad at Michael Palmer for a certain reason. She responded yes. She agreed with Murphy that she wouldn't be surprised if threats were made against him.

She admitted that she saw some things written on Facebook in which she printed out and gave to authorities.

The next person called to the stand was Jason Antonk. He told the jury he was a close friend of Ed Wilson's and spent a lot of time with him in the years before his death.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Leann Hawkins asked Antonk if he ever witnessed Ed Wilson give Kristyn money. He said there were multiple times he saw Ed Wilson give her money out of his pocket.

Antonk said Ed Wilson had a lot of valuable assets including a couple of homes, vehicles, motorcycles, and more.

Antonk told the jury he bought a four wheeler from Ed Wilson for $6,000 and they were on a monthly payment agreement. He said that was when Michael Palmer began to harass him and his family. He said it continued up until Wilson's death.

Hawkins asked Antonk about a Facebook dispute he had with Palmer between the dates of December 1-10, 2011.

Antonk said he saw Palmer making comments about Ed Wilson and his wife on a friend's Facebook wall and began to respond. He said he knew it was Palmer because of similar conversations they had in person.

Antonk told the jury December 10, 2011 was the last time he and Palmer talked on Facebook. He said he called Ed Wilson and told him 'Mike was on there starting his [explicative] again."

Antonk said Ed Wilson told him to tell Palmer to "shut up before he shut him up".

During cross examination, Murphy asked Antonk if he felt responsible for Ed Wilson getting shot.

"I wasn't the one with the AK-47," he responded.

Murphy then asked him if he was "stirring the pot."

Antonk told the jury that Ed Wilson wanted to know if Palmer was discussing family issues on the Internet and asked him to relay the message about 'shutting Palmer up'.

Murphy responded: "Maybe if you would have kept your mouth shut, Ed Wilson wouldn't have gone to the Palmers and wouldn't have gotten shot".

Murphy then asked Antonk about the conversation he had with Ed Wilson on the phone while he was at the VFW just hours before his death. He said the last call came in around 5:50 p.m.

Antonk again said all he told him was 'Mike was on there starting his [explicative] again."

Antonk testified that Ed Wilson called his house again around midnight but didn't answer because he was sleeping. The voicemail was deleted.

He said he did wake up to a phone call around 2:30 am from Dustin telling him Ed Wilson was shot.

Murphy asked Antonk: "You really don't like Mr. Palmer, do you?"

"After this incident, no," he responded.

Murphy then brought up Antonk's statement to the police where he said Ed Wilson told him to get on the computer and tell Michael to "answer the damn phone". Antonk agreed that he did, in fact, tell that to the police.

Next on the stand was Kathy Carpenter, a regular at Linda Wilson's beauty shop in Rivesville and a friend of the Wilson family.

She told the jury she saw Ed Wilson the Saturday and Tuesday before he was shot and killed. On Saturday, she said she saw him at the VFW where he was casually drinking and talking to her and her cousin. The Tuesday before, she went to his home in Baxter.

Pat Wilson asked Carpenter how Ed Wilson was acting toward the Palmers before his death. Carpenter told the jury he was aggravated but still loved his daughter. She also said Ed mentioned he wanted "his grandson taken care of and wanted him to have everything that was his."

During cross examination, Defense Attorney Rebecca Tate asked Carpenter about the statement she gave to police in August 2012.

In that statement, Tate said Carpenter told police Ed Wilson received several calls the Saturday she saw him at the VFW. She remembered him making the comment, "they are always trying to contact me" and then silenced his phone.

The defense asked if she knew that the calls were from the Antonk family. She said she didn't.

The last witness called to the stand on Wednesday was Marion County Sheriff's Department Detective Shawn Mathews.

He told the jury he was called to the Palmer residence on December 11, 2011 and is in charge of the investigation. He said upon his arrival, Deputy Tony Veltri had already secured the scene.

Deputy Veltri then gave him a brief rundown on what happened and then took him on a walk through of the crime scene.

Detective Mathews said he took 2-3 pictures of everything he believed to be important and put evidence markers on the things that stood out.

He did note that he saw damage to the Palmer's back door and found the AK-47 and shell casings in the computer room of the home.

He said he was unaware there were two shots until he got back to the station that night.

Detective Mathews told the jury he went back to the residence after the night of the shooting to look for the second casing and talk to Palmer about the incident.

A bullet was located in the windowsill and Detective Mathews said it wasn't there the night of the shooting. After testing it was determined that it didn't come from the AK-47.

Detective Mathews told the jury Palmer told him where he was standing when he fired the two shots. He also admitted he fired two shots and the first one missed and hit the counter top. The second bullet that killed Ed Wilson was never found, which Detective Mathews said that means it probably went outside.

A diagram was used to show the jury exactly where Palmer said he was standing when he fired the shots. Detective Mathews determined he could have hit the counter from where he was standing but would have had to step out of the room and move forward to make the bullet go out the front door.

The jury also heard a 911 recording of Michael Palmer from November 19, 2011. In the call Palmer told police "my drunken father-in-law is threatening to kick in my door and blow my head off". It continued with him asking for the threat to be logged by police and asking if he had the right to protect himself.

He also said in the call that his door locks were not strong because the house was being reconstructed and it could easily be kicked in. He said he didn't believe he would actually do it.

Detective Mathews said he reviewed several phone records from November and December of 2011 between Wilson and the Palmer land line.

The day that Palmer called 911 about the threat, Detective Mathews said there were eight phone calls back and forth between the two parties. The calls began at noon and ended just after 7:30 p.m.

The state said it expects to wrap up its case on Thursday and then the defense will begin to call its witnesses.

Officials said the trial will continue into next week.

For previous stories, click on the link.

Stick with 12 News as the trial continues.