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Palmer eventually landed a job as a cook at Harold’s Chicken & Ice Bar in Chicago. When Robinson started a Harold’s franchise restaurant in Atlanta, she recruited Palmer to cook and train other cooks.
A grandfather’s ring
Palmer had struggled in recent years, after changing his medication for depression, family members said. His grandfather, who helped raise him, left Palmer a ring valued at $2,000 when he died in 2010, Katherine Palmer said. A year later, a female acquaintance stole the ring. Palmer was enraged like never before, say family members.
“If he thinks you’ve stolen from him, no telling what he might do,” his mother said.
Palmer’s daughter, Ava, was a year old when he moved to Atlanta 14 months ago. He’d send her $300 to $400 every paycheck and lavish her with clothes, but his life wasn’t the same without her, Ceara Miller said.
Something else was missing. Miller said that Palmer had an insatiable appetite for sex. He told her he was soliciting prostitutes.
“I understood it,” Miller said. “It seemed harmless.”
In Georgia, there eventually would be warrants for his arrest; he is charged with violently attacking three prostitutes he met between September and December of last year through an Internet site, backpage.com. Anoka County authorities say Brittany Clardy, of St. Paul, was a prostitute whom Palmer met through the same website before killing her at his brother’s house in Brooklyn Park on Feb. 11. The mother of Klaressa Cook told other media outlets that her daughter worked as a prostitute, although a sister firmly denied that to the Star Tribune. Cook’s body was found in May in the trunk of a car that had been towed to a Minneapolis impound lot from a supermarket parking lot in Brooklyn Park.
Bobbie Robinson, Palmer’s employer at the Georgia restaurant, said she never felt threatened when she drove him to his apartment each night after work.
She had other issues with Palmer. She said he often argued with the cooks he was training. He was going to anger management, Robinson said. Sometimes, he’d become so upset that he’d leave work in the middle of his shift, without notifying anyone.
Palmer and the restaurant parted “by mutual agreement” last December, Robinson said.
He moved to the Twin Cities. He has brothers in Brooklyn Park and Oakdale and a sister in St. Paul. He was arrested at an aunt’s, in Woodbury, on March 6.
“He calls Ava every other day from jail,” Miller said. “She walks around staring at his picture ID.”
Palmer now shares something in common with Alvin Clardy.
“Alberto can’t believe that he may never see his daughter again,” Miller said.
Paul Levy • 612-673-4419