Robert Palmer was sentenced to 63 months in a federal prison with three months supervised parole upon release. He could be paroled in less than four years.
Palmer has four children, who are split on supporting their father. Two appeared at his sentencing hearing in October 2021.
“They are Christians like I am, and I know that in time, that (relationship) will heal,” Palmer says.
Palmer was a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump in part because he was doing well financially. His cleaning and restoration company — Son Bright Diversified Services, Inc. — was having its best three years yet, and he was able to rent a house.
Palmer says when he leaves jail, “I have to start out, (at) almost 60 years old, from ground zero, from nothing.” He says he will have to work longer than planned before he retires.
He does not have a college education and hopes to take some courses while incarcerated “and see where that leads me.” He says he will take the time to read without a “worry about bills, having to get this paid and that paid.” He plans to take prison counseling to better handle his emotions, specifically anger management.
Other January 6 inmates housed near him believe Trump will get reelected as president in 2024 and pardon all of them. Palmer says he told them, “Guys, that is not going to happen.” He says for that insistence, he carries a stigma of being a “negative Nancy” in the jail.
As a felon, Palmer cannot vote. But he says if his rights were restored, he would never vote for Trump. He says he voted for him in 2020 because Trump was different from a typical politician, and he liked his blunt way of getting things done. Now, he resents the former president for urging the crowd to join him and march to the Capitol but never followed them.
Palmer says Trump is living his happy life at Mar-a-Lago and “I'm sitting here, you know? I'm one of the little people. One of the expendable-level people.”
He still cannot decide if the Capitol breach was justified.
“I think there is 50-50 blame to go around. I don’t think it was just a breach,” he says.
Palmer talks about some police allowing rioters to enter the building, but ultimately, he knows he will carry what he did “for the remainder of this life on this Earth.”