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Husband turns self in after stabbing 61-year-old wife, police say

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, at 8:38 a.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, at 2:51 a.m.

The 55-year-old Wichita man who police say admitted killing his wife Sunday at their home near 13th and Woodlawn had served 12 years in prison and had been on parole for aggravated robbery, records show.

Guy Wayne Palmer remained in the Sedgwick County Jail on Monday evening in lieu of $100,000 bail, held on suspicion of first-degree murder.

A police report said Palmer turned himself in Sunday after saying he had killed his wife. Investigators found his wife, Debra Palmer, 61, in the basement of the red-brick home at 6800 E. Farmview.

“It appears at this time she died of multiple stab wounds,” Lt. Randy Reynolds said Monday.

Police do not know what led to the woman’s death, Reynolds said.

“We don’t have all of the facts. It appears possibly the marriage was coming to an end,” he said.

Reynolds expects police to present their case to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday.

Records show that a judge sentenced Palmer on May 26, 1981, for aggravated battery. Records show he absconded from parole in 1989 and was discharged from parole in 1992. He served time in prisons in Winfield, Hutchinson and Topeka, records show. He also reported to a work-release center in Wichita in the ’80s, records show.

The state paroled Palmer in 1987, but he landed back in prison after violating his parole, records show.

Police were stationed at the Palmers’ house for much of Monday. Crime scene tape was tied between three trees in the front yard. Down the street, an American flag at a fire station on the corner of Woodlawn and Farmview blew in the wind at half staff in memory of the 20 children and six adults killed in Connecticut last week as well as the deaths of a Topeka Police Department corporal and officer Sunday night.

A man who lives nearby said he had not heard about Debra Palmer’s death and uttered “Jesus God almighty” when he learned what police said happened. He declined to speak more to a reporter, shaking his head.

Marianne Opp had lived next door to the Palmers for about a year.

She said she had never seen police visit the home before.

“I could hear some confrontations in the backyard” from time to time, Opp said.

“I had a visit from the police Sunday morning, but I didn’t hear anything,” she said.

Opp said she had had friends over to visit Saturday night.

The neighborhood is generally quiet, she said. The street is lined with well-maintained brick one-story homes.

Debra Palmer was “a nice lady” who Opp believed might have worked at a local aircraft plant.

“She was always very pleasant to me,” Opp said. “I didn’t expect anything like this to happen.”

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