Polk County suspect orders hit from jail, investigators say

By Dave Jordan, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, March 07, 2018, 10:09 PM EST

A Polk County inmate is accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill victims connected to his case.

  • Inmate reportedly asked cellmate to help him contract a hit man
  • Inmate wanted victim, victim's family killed, their home burned
  • "Hitman" offered $15K, sports car

Prior to March 7, Richard Palmer, 26, was in the Polk County Jail facing charges of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child under 12 years of age.

Investigators say Palmer asked his cellmate to help him find a hit man to kill the now 16-year-old alleged victim so she could not testify against him. He also wanted the victim’s mother and aunt killed and the victim’s home burned down after the murders were committed.

The "hitman" Palmer thought he was hiring was an undercover officer, said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

“This is as bad an individual, as mean and individual that has ever walked the face of the earth,” said Judd. “Our goal is that he never have a breath of air outside of prison. This is a worthless human being.”

According to investigators, Palmer offered to pay the hit man $15,000 and also gift him with a sports car.

He has now been charged with two counts of solicitation to commit murder and one count of solicitation to commit arson.