Convicted child murderer Anthony Palma, 58, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The victim’s family was shocked and relieved when Palma waived his appeal rights in the sentencing hearing on Monday. They think it is only a matter of time before he breaks his silence on where he buried 8-year-old Kirsten Hatfield 20 years ago.
Palma listened as the judge told him he will serve life in prison without the possibility of parole. He also waived his right to appeal his conviction. Prosecutors said it is an unusual move.
“For what it’s worth,” said David Prater, Oklahoma County District Attorney, “I appreciate him doing that because this gives some finality to the family. Don’t say closure because there is not such a thing. They will walked out these doors with some questions that need to be answered.”
A question only the convicted murderer can answer. They want to know where Hatfield's body was buried. She disappeared from her Midwest City home 20 years ago.
Hatfield's sister and mother looked Palma in the eye in court Monday as they read victim testimonies. They both told Palma they forgive him but want him to lead authorities to their loved one's body.
“Obviously we’ve been praying for years,” said Shannon Hazen, victim’s mother. “But we’ve been writing prayers down and we hope that he is able to get them at some point and ready them. Just so he can see just how serious we are and hopeful we are about his cooperation.”
Palma remained quiet as he was led back to jail. He will be transferred to Oklahoma Department of Corrections custody and live the remainder of his life in prison.
"We hope that maybe that will bring him to a place of telling us so we can lay her rest,” said Faith Daniels, victim’s sister.
Palma did not make any statements in court today.