A Harrison County jury has found Michael Palmer guilty in the 2011 murder of his father-in-law, Ed Wilson. It's been an emotional roller-coaster for Palmer as well as his and Ed Wilson's friends and family over the past 13 days.
After seven hours of deliberation, the jury has determined Michael Palmer deliberately shot and killed Ed Wilson in December of 2011. The jury convicted Palmer of first degree murder with mercy.
"It's a case where again the jury in this particular matter took great attentiveness, paid great attention to the evidence in this case, and they had a tough decision to make," said Pat Wilson, Marion County Prosecuting Attorney.
Emotions were running high in the courtroom as Judge Michael Aloi read Palmer his verdict.
Palmer shook his head in disbelief as he was told the jury found him guilty of murder in the first degree.
"Obviously we are very pleased with the verdict. It's a horrible situation all the way around. The family of Mr. Wilson as well as the family as Mr. Palmer. I'm hopeful that this will hopefully start to begin a little closure in this matter," Wilson said.
Pat Wilson said due to a lot of issues between the Palmers and Ed Wilson, Michael Palmer was waiting for his moment to strike.
On the night of December 11, 2011 Palmer deliberately provoked Ed Wilson to get him to come to his house. Before Ed Wilson made it through the door or Palmer could even see him, he began to shoot. One bullet went through the counter top in the kitchen and the fatal bullet entered and exited Ed Wilson's body and was never found. The verdict from the jury shows they agree with this statement.
"All of the evidence taken as a whole was what's important. I think that's what the jury looked at in this case," Pat Wilson said.
Assistant Prosecutor Leann Hawkins said the trial was long and emotional for everyone, but especially for the family of Ed Wilson.
"No one cares more about the outcome of the case then his son, his sister, all of the people who cared about him. They were certainly interested and patient and I think very respectful of the jury," she said.
The trial began March 10 after being rescheduled seven times prior. In January, the date was moved for a final time after the court was unable to seat a jury in Marion County.
Judge Michael Aloi passed a motion to move the trial to Harrison County in February.
After a jury was selected on March 10, they were taken to Baxter in Marion County to get a view of the crime scene. Each one had the opportunity to walk inside the residence and put a picture to everything they heard about over the past two weeks.
Judge Michael Aloi showed the jury key places to remember. Some of which included the residence's of the Palmers and Ed Wilson; as well as parking lots, homes of witnesses, and more.
Upon returning back to the Harrison County Courthouse, the state and defense addressed the jury with their opening statements.
Marion County Prosecutor Pat Wilson was first to address the jury on March 11. He said on the night that Ed Wilson died, he had a discussion with Palmer about some controversy on Facebook. Pat Wilson said Ed Wilson went home and was ambushed and killed 30 seconds after he was home.
He also said the jury would realize from the evidence that Palmer 'intentionally, premeditatedly, maliciously shot and killed Ed Wilson on the back porch of a house he was letting Mike Palmer live in for free'.
Defense Attorney Sean Murphy said just the opposite. He told the jury Palmer acted on defense and the evidence he presented over the past two weeks would prove it.
Murphy told the jury, "You can push all the buttons you want. No one has the right to invade your home."
Testimony began immediately after opening statements. Throughout the next 11 days, the jury heard from a total of 30 witnesses. 24 from the state and 6 from the defense.
These witnesses included experts, law enforcement, doctors, and friends and family of Ed Wilson.
By the advice of their attorneys, both Palmer and his wife Kristyn chose to exercise their fifth amendment right and waived their right to testify in the trial.
To read the witnesses testimony, click here for past stories.
The prosecution rested its case on March 20. The defense followed suit just 4 days later.
During closing statements, each side had one last chance to address the jury before deliberation.
Pat Wilson told the jury Palmer hated Ed Wilson. He referred to the Facebook post presented during testimony, in which Palmer called Ed Wilson a "backstabbing, lying, two faced piece of [explicative]".
Pat Wilson added that the 911 call from November 2011 is verbatim of the 911 call from the night Ed Wilson was killed. He said it is a clear indication of premeditation.
Pat Wilson told the jury Palmer should be convicted of murder in the first degree for deliberately and premeditatedly shooting and killing Ed Wilson.
"Ed Wilson should not be dead. He did not do anything on December 11 that would excuse Michael Palmer from shooting him," Pat Wilson said before he concluded.
When Defense Attorney Sean Murphy addressed the jury, he said the Persecuting Attorney's Office and the Marion County Sheriff's Department did not do their job. He called it "sloppy work".
"You should be outraged as a jury," he said. "Kicking in a mans door and coming into his home threatening bodily harm or death is a felony.
Murphy said crucial piece of evidence weren't collected, fingerprints weren't taken, Ed Wilson's truck or home wasn't searched, certain objects weren't sent to the lab, and even evidence was stepped on or ignored.
He concluded by saying Ed Wilson came to the house wanting to cause bodily harm to Michael Palmer. He said there is clearly evidence of self defense. "You are compelled to return a verdict of not guilty."
The jury began deliberating Tuesday afternoon coming back only two hours later asking to resume in the morning.
On Wednesday, the jury began deliberating at 9 a.m. and the verdict came in just before 4 p.m.
The jury has asked the court for mercy in this case.
Palmer's sentencing will take place at a later in. In that time period, the defense can file post-trial motions or an appeal.
There is no word on when that sentencing will happen.
Palmer's wife, Kristyn, is also facing a first degree murder charge in the shooting of her father. That trial has not yet been scheduled.