Jurors sat through day three of testimony for the trial of charged killer Anthony Palma. His 8-year-old neighbor Kirsten Hatfield disappeared 20 years ago. DNA testing connects Palma to her death, even though her body has never been found.
Palma sat attentive with his arms crossed during hours of tedious testimony. For 17 years, he was never the target of investigation until Midwest City Police reopened the 2014 cold case based on a tip. Prosecutors called the last witness of the trial Wednesday afternoon, the Midwest City detective assigned to investigate that tip.
The detective followed the lead to a home in Jones, where a journal was discovered that detailed the disappearance of Kirsten Hatfield. After excavating the home, nothing else came of the search.
Assistant district attorney Scott Rowland told the court Wednesday the detective did not simply stop there but "picked up the case and ran with it."
Testing done on the Hatfield evidence in the 90s created a DNA profile of an unknown person. That's when the case went cold. The detective who reopened the case explained to jurors how he involved the FBI and the OSBI in the latest investigation.
The OBSI was asked to retest evidence to create a new DNA profile. That OBSI DNA analyst said on the stand she tested the little girl's bloody panties that were found in her backyard as well as blood scrapings taken from the girl's window and the window sill. She told jurors the DNA profile developed from the blood matched Palma's profile. He willingly gave a DNA sample to investigators in 2015. Palma has denied knowing Hatfield or having anything to do with her disappearance.
Prosecutors do not expect the defense to call any witnesses and said and closing arguments will likely be held Friday.