POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida inmate has been charged with trying to hire a hitman to kill a child and witnesses in exchange for $15,000 and a sports car.
Richard Palmer, 26, who is in the Polk County Jail for lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 12 years of age, asked a cellmate if he knew anyone who would be willing to kill the child and witnesses in his case in exchange for $15,000 and a sports car, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.
Palmer went on to tell his cellmate that he wanted the hired hitman to burn the home after murdering the victim and witnesses "to destroy evidence." He said he wanted it done so they couldn't go to court because "he didn't want to spend the rest of his life in prison."
"Just when you think this man can't get any lower, after being arrested for doing horrible things to a child, now he's trying to hire someone to kill her and the witnesses. There's not one bit of remorse in this man for what he's done," Sheriff Grady Judd said.
According to PCSO, the cellmate turned over Palmer's hand-drawn map of the targeted residence, complete with landmarks, and interior layout, which was intended to help the hired hitman with the task.
An undercover detective then got involved, posing as someone interested in helping with the murders. Deputies said Palmer used the term "X Out" when talking about the planned murders with his cellmate and the detective.
They said Palmer gave the detective directions and promised a sports car and money in advance as partial payment. Soon after the detective was given a security code question and Palmer arranged for $100 to be wired via Western Union.
Detectives said they also recorded a conversation between Palmer and his cellmate, where Palmer used the coded phrase, "Exterminate all Jews," referring to his victims in the neighborhood. They said it was during that conversation that Palmer acknowledged drawing the map.
PCSO charged Palmer with two counts of solicitation to commit murder (F-1), and one count of solicitation to commit arson (F-2). His first appearance in court is set for Thursday.
Palmer's Criminal History: An affidavit against Palmer for the lewd and lascivious charges was originally filed in February 2013. He was arrested in Ohio and extradited to Polk County in November 2015. Deputies said he posted bail in December of that year, but was arrested again in September of 2017 on battery on a LEO and resisting arrest charges, which prompted his pre-trial release status to be revoked.