A former Texas police chief has just been found dead only days before he was set to face trial for the sexual assault of a child.
Former West Columbia police chief Michael Palmer, was found unresponsive around 3:45 p.m. in his back yard, according to sources within the West Columbia Police Department.
A trial had been scheduled for next week, which accused Palmer of the sexual assault of a child, Chief Paul Odin of the West Columbia Police Department said. Back in 2013, Palmer lost his job before the child sex charges were filed. Back then, fellow officers reported him for stealing pain killers which had been taken as evidence in a number of investigations.
Since then, Palmer faced multiple, unrelated charges, specific to the abuse he was about to stand trial for, including aggravated sexual assault of a child, and eight counts of tampering with evidence.
When investigators found strong evidence that he had, on several occasions, bound, gagged and sexually assaulted a young boy – starting back in 1998 when the child was 7-years-old – he went on the run. Evidence of these crimes was even found in Palmer’s office at the police department.
The exact cause of death has yet to be revealed, but paramedics said they were unable to revive him and the Galveston County medical examiner says that they will release their autopsy report in the coming weeks.