Prosecutor says no to killer’s release

Inmate has served 22 years

A Trumbull County inmate who has served 22 years of a possible life sentence on murder, felonious assault and inciting violence convictions has a parole hearing in December.

Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins has written a letter to the Ohio Parole Board asking to keep Ignacio A. Palma locked up.

“Because of the circumstances of the crime and Palma’s explosive tendency along with recent infractions in prison, we continue to strongly recommend that you keep Palma incarcerated for the entire sentence imposed by the court,” Watkins wrote.

Palma, 58, who is confined at Southeastern Correctional Institution, was given a 15-year to-life sentence in 1994 by Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge W. Wyatt McKay after being found guilty in the May 4, 1994, slaying of Palma’s wife, Vivian Chancellor, 41.

Chancellor was found slumped over in a chair in the couple’s Oak Street SW home with a fatal bullet wound to the head. According to police reports, Palma was allegedly upset with his wife over some letters from another man that were discovered in the woman’s luggage.

The inciting to violence conviction is linked to time Palma was confined in the Trumbull County Jail. Prosecutors said he and another inmate fought with deputies and threw chemicals in their faces. Authorities said the two inmates allegedly were upset about being moved to another cell.

Watkins also referred to Palma’s behavior while being incarcerated at the prison in Lancaster. On Sept. 22, Palma allegedly displayed inappropriate behavior with a newly hired female staff member. According to the prison infraction report, the inmate walked into an office and placed a red flower on the female staffer’s desk.

In April 2015, a report showed a homemade wooden speaker box and three cords were found near Palma’s bed in his cell. And twice since March 2014, Palma was involved in a physical altercation with another inmate.