Anthony Palma Waives Right To Preliminary Hearing, Trial Moves Forward

Friday, May 13th 2016, 6:04 pm
By: News 9

Friday, May 13, the man accused of kidnapping and killing an 8-year-old girl, who lived on his street, waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Anthony Palma, 57, of Midwest City, is being held at the Oklahoma County Jail without bond and is under constant supervision.

Friday, was his first court appearance since his arrest last October.

Flanked by a total of four deputies, Anthony Palma made his way into court wearing glasses and shackles around his wrists and ankles. And he walked into a courtroom full of Kirsten Hatfield's friends and family.

10/13/15 Related Story: Family Of Kirsten Hatfield Speaks About Arrest Of Anthony Joseph Palma

Palma continued to maintain his innocence but decided not to hear the state's case against him.

Back in October, investigators searched every inch of Palma's property looking for Kirsten Hatfield's remains. They used sonars, bulldozers, and even cadaver dogs. They also took apart the floorboards inside the Midwest City home. But Hatfield's body was never found.

Palma was questioned back in 1997 when Hatfield was reported missing, but no arrests were ever made.

But just last year, DNA linked Palma to crucial evidence found at the crime scene. Namely blood found on a pair of Kirsten's underwear that was discovered in the backyard.

Palma's arrest marked the first real big break in the 18-year-old cold case.

His appearance in court was the first time the family had a chance to see the man now accused of kidnapping and killing the brown-haired, brown-eyed little girl.

Kirsten Hatfield's mother was one of eight people set to take the stand against Palma, but she left not having to do so after Palma waived his right to the preliminary hearing. Neither she nor any family member had anything to say about the case moving forward.

No decision has been made yet on whether the state will seek the death penalty in this case. Palma is scheduled to be back in court on June 24 for his formal arraignment.