Murder of Child Results in Life Sentence

Damien Palmer, 25, of North Fort Myers, was sentenced to life in prison today after a Lee County jury found him guilty of Second Degree Murder. In 2017, Palmer was arrested for the death of a two (2) year old child. The child suffered from severe head trauma.

During the 10-day trial, conducted in February 2019, the State called 17 witnesses. The State called multiple medical experts. Their testimony indicated that the evidence proved the child’s injuries were caused by the purposeful infliction of injuries and not the result of an accident, as claimed by Palmer. The jury also convicted Palmer of Aggravated Child Abuse. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison for that crime, to run concurrently with the life sentence.

Today’s sentencing followed a series of post-trial motions filed by Palmer including multiple motions for a new trial. The State contested those motions and Judge Margaret Steinbeck denied them all.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office mounted a vigorous and ultimately successful investigation of this crime.

Special Victims Unit Chief Francine Donnorummo and Assistant State Attorney Stephanie Powers prosecuted the case.

Samantha Syoen
Communications Director
State Attorney’s Office