The man who is convicted of the sexual assault and murder of the girl, 8, is killed in prison by his cellmate
Child killer, 59, whose body of the eight-year-old victim was never found, is killed in prison by his cellmate
- Anthony Joseph Palma, 59, was found in his cell in the prison of Oklahoma State on Friday at around 7:30 pm and could not be revived
- Authorities believe he was murdered by his cellmate, who serves a murder sentence of a first degree
- Palma served life in prison without conditional release for the murder of Kirsten Hatfield, the eight-year-old in Midwest City, Oklahoma
- Kirsten was missing from her house in the middle of the night, but blood was found on her windowsill and her underwear was found in the backyard.
- New tests found the DNA of Palma on both the windowsill and Kirsten's underwear in 2015
Mary Kekatos Health Reporter
A man who was convicted of killing an eight-year-old girl would have been murdered by his cellmate in Oklahoma state prison.
According to The Oklahoman, a correction officer discovered the body of Anthony Joseph Palma, 59, around 7:30 PM on Friday during a regular security check.
According to reports, the efforts of the medical staff to revitalize Palma are unsuccessful and he was declared dead at 8.55 pm.
Details about how Palma died were not released nor was the prisoner's name, but he also served time for first-line murder, the newspaper reported.
Anthony Joseph Palma, 59 (left), was found in his cell on Friday at around 7:30 pm in the penitentiary in Oklahoma. He served life in prison without conditional release for the murder of eight-year-old Kirsten Hatfield (right) in Midwest City, Oklahoma in 1997
Reports say that the efforts of the medical staff to revive Palma (photo) were unsuccessful and he was declared dead at 8.55 pm. He is believed to have been killed by his cellmate, also serving time for first-degree murder
Palma died 13 months after being sentenced to life imprisonment without a guard for the killing of Kirsten Hatfield.
According to The Charley Project, Kirsten disappeared in May 1997. She was last seen at her home on the 1100 block of Jet Drive in Midwest City, Oklahoma.
Her mother, Shannon Hazen, said she had put her daughter in bed around 11.30 am and when she checked in again between 6.00 and 6.30 am, Kirsten was missing.
Blood was discovered on the window sill of the bedroom and Kirsten's underwear was found in the backyard.
Her body has never been found.
Prosecutors say that Palma, who lived two doors from home, kidnapped Kirsten and sexually abused before she killed her, reported The Oklahoman.
In October 2015, Palma was arrested after new tests had found his DNA on Kirsten's bedroom window sill and on her underwear.
The Charley project says that Palma knew Kirsten, because he was dating her older sister at the time of her death.
Kirsten (left) disappeared from her home in May 1997. Blood was discovered on the window sill of the bedroom and Kirsten's underwear was found in the backyard. New tests found the DNA of Palma (right) on both the sill and her underwear
Palma lived two doors lower than Kirsten and was still at the time of his arrest. He had maintained his innocence. Pictured: a search dog combs through the house and the garden of Palma after his arrest in October 2015
Palma insisted that he was home on the night of Kirsten's disappearance when he was questioned in 1997 and in 2015 and had maintained his innocence.
A month after he was arrested, he tried in vain to commit suicide by tearing his wrists, news reports said.
This was not Palma's first acquaintance with the law.
His former landlady accused him of having been drugged in 1982 in Walters, Oklahoma, and reportedly being molested.
And in a case similar to Hatfield's, Palma reportedly attacked a young girl in 1979 or 1980, also in Walters.
According to prosecutors, he sneaked into the girl's bedroom in the middle of the night. He was never charged.