Lizella man sentenced to life in prison for 2017 shooting death of man in Crawford County
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A Lizella man is heading to prison for the 2017 shooting death of a man in Crawford County.
According to the Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, 61 year old Thomas Palmer plead guilty to malice murder during a hearing in Crawford County Superior Court. Palmer was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole, as part of a plea agreement. Palmer must serve 30 years before he can be considered for parole.
According to a news release from the Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, a family member of 55 year old Kenneth Hutcheson called the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office the morning of April 7, 2017 because Hutcheson had been shot and killed.
Authorities later discovered that Hutcheson’s girlfriend was due to appear in court that morning to see a judge about a 12 month restraining order she had against Palmer, her ex-boyfriend. She and Hutcheson spent the night somewhere else, but returned to Hutcheson’s home to change clothes before court.
According to the news release, Palmer arrived at the house at some point during the night and waited for the couple to return. Hutcheson’s girlfriend heard a gunshot while she walking up the steps to the house. She turned around and saw Hutcheson on the ground and Palmer with a gun. Palmer stuck her in the head with the gun and forced into the Hutcheson’s truck.
Palmer held her against her will as they traveled to a store on Hartley Bridge Road in Macon, then a home in Macon and then to Monroe County. Palmer got out of the truck when they stopped in Monroe County. The woman locked the doors and drove off. She stopped at a nearby convenience store and called 911.
Authorities from Monroe County went to the area where the woman was last seen and saw Palmer walking along the road. Palmer is accused of firing shots at the officers before being arrested.
Additional charges are pending in Monroe County against Palmer stemming from that shooting.