Homicide Defendant Rejects Plea Offer

During a Jan. 25 status hearing, a 23-year-old murder defendant decided to reject a plea offer for murder and two of the eight charges over two separate cases.  

Ky’Lee Palmer, 23, is accused of allegedly shooting 60-year-old Barron Goodwin in the 800 block of 51st Street SE on Feb. 12, 2020.  

Palmer was not officially connected to Goodwin’s murder until 2022 upon his arrest in connection to an armed kidnapping. According to court documents, the victim of that kidnapping revealed to detectives that Palmer had previously confided about his involvement in the 2020 homicide. 

Palmer was indicted on one count of first-degree murder while armed, two counts of tampering with physical evidence, assault with intent to kill while armed, and destruction of property of $1,000 or more in relation to the homicide case. Those indictment charges are in addition to a kidnapping while armed and unlawful possession of a firearm charge in relation to a 2022 kidnapping case. 

The plea offer would have dropped the rest of the charges Palmer faced. 

The prosecution asked DC Superior Court Judge Maribeth Raffinan for a hold on the defendant, admitting that this case is “fairly unique” in that Palmer will be held regardless due to his involvement in the kidnapping case. 

“The intent transfers,” the prosecution said, explaining that although Goodwin wasn’t Palmer’s intended victim, Palmer still intended to commit homicide. 

The prosecution argued that their evidence, including a dispute between the defendant and a witness living at the targeted home, the GPS location on Palmer’s phone, and surveillance video of a stolen car, should be enough to hold him in connection to this case. 

Although the prosecution argued that Palmer’s phone GPS location showed him in the area of the crime when it occurred, the defense refuted the accuracy of this evidence.

Defense Attorney David Akulian said cell towers register multiple block ranges, arguing that Palmer’s phone being in the general area of the crime “tells us just about nothing.”

Akulian also reminded Judge Raffinan that there is no DNA or physical evidence that connects Palmer to the destruction of the car that was supposedly used to perpetrate the shooting. He asked for Palmer’s release. 

Judge Raffinan told the parties that she would need more time to review the specific facts of the case before she could determine the weight of the evidence.

A status hearing is scheduled for Feb. 1.

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