‘She’ll get what’s coming:’ Murder suspect painted as jilted lover in new testimony

Joshua Ward is accused of gunning down his ex-girlfriend and her son inside their Burlington apartment in March 2018.
Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 7:45 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Ky. (FOX19) - The woman who called police on Joshua Ward believing he’d committed the murders for which he’s currently on trial took the stand Thursday.

Tonya Palmer provided significant testimony, helping to build the prosecution’s case that Ward, they say, gunned down his ex-girlfriend and her young son because he was upset she’d broken up with him.

Police found Kelli Kramer and her son, Aiden, dead inside their Burlington apartment in March 2018.

Investigators say Ward had a relationship with the 31-year-old woman from December 2016-May 2017.

Boone County Detective Jason Keipert testified on Tuesday Kramer had a history of “drugs, prostitution and escorting.”

Keipert also testified she was a member of a BDSM social network called FetLife, which is where she met Ward and another man, David Sullivan, who would be the first to find Kramer’s body and that of her son.

Ward met Palmer on the same social network, she testified on Thursday.

Ward told police shortly after the slayings that he broke up with Kramer when he found out she had continued prostituting herself. Prosecutors say Ward was distraught over the breakup.

On Wednesday, Ward’s former girlfriend, Nicole Bohly, testified Ward had told her Kramer had “ruined his life and his potential to have a family” by breaking up with him.

Bohly said Ward then told her to stay quiet. ”He called me at the end of May 2018 and asked me not to tell the cops anything that he had said,” she testified.

Palmer’s testimony built on Bohly’s. She said she spoke with Ward about the break-up.

“He was very upset,” she said. “Told me that she had lied to him.”

Palmer explained she had lunch with Ward in Hamersville, where she lives, and they discussed allowing him to use her property for firearms target practice.

“At the lunch, it was things like, ‘She’ll get what’s coming to her,’” Palmer said.

She also said he asked if she knew where he could get a gun that would not be “registered or detected” and also asked if she knew where to get enough heroin to kill someone.

Palmer said no one else used her property for target practice.

An ATF ballistics expert testified she had determined two shell casings recovered from Tonya Palmer’s property were consistent with nine found inside the apartment wherer Kramer and her son were killed.

When Ward called her to tell her of the death of Kramer and her son, Palmer says she thought to herself, “I can’t believe you [expletive] did it.”

“The reason being was that all the things that he had said to me months before just came rushing over me, like what didn’t I see?” She said.

Palmer says she called CrimeStoppers, who then contacted the Boone County Sheriff’s Office in May 2018.

The death penalty in this case was taken off the table after prosecutors said he spoke with Kramers family.

Ward is facing 20 years in prison without parole if he is convicted.

Joshua Ward
Joshua Ward(Boone County Sheriff's Office)
Raffle tickets are still available Monday morning ahead of an 11 a.m. drawing as part of a...
Raffle tickets are still available Monday morning ahead of an 11 a.m. drawing as part of a fundraiser for a playground honoring Aiden Kramer, 9. He was fatally shot along with his mother inside their Burlington apartment in 2018.(Provided)

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