Days before trial, man pleads guilty in killings of 2 young women

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A 25-year-old Woodbury man has pleaded guilty to killing two young women whose bodies were found a few months apart in impound lot cars.

Alberto Palmer, a Chicago native who had been a fugitive from beating and sexual assault crimes in Georgia, reached a deal with prosecutors that likely will land him in prison for the rest of his life, the Star Tribune reports.

Palmer had been charged last year with criminal sexual conduct and murder in the death of 18-year-old Brittany Clardy of St. Paul (pictured above at left), whose frozen body was discovered in a lot in Columbia Heights in February 2013. Police said he had sex with Clardy for money at a Brooklyn Park home and then struck her with a hammer after they argued about payment, according to a criminal complaint.

"I used the hammer to hit her upside the head multiple times," Palmer told a judge Wednesday, the Pioneer Press reports.

After the killing, Palmer hid her body in her car and drove it to an apartment complex, and the vehicle was later towed to an impound lot.

“This was a senseless tragedy, and with much input from the victim’s family and cooperation with our counterparts in Hennepin County, we believe justice will be served,” Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo told reporters.

Palmer also was charged in Hennepin County in the killing of Klaressa Cook, 24, of Georgia (pictured above at right), whose body was found in a Minneapolis lot in May 2013.

The deal, which the Star Tribune reports requires a minimum of 60 total years in prison, is contingent on Palmer entering a guilty plea in Hennepin County in the Cook case within the next month, which is expected.

Before his March 2013 arrest, Palmer made dozens of calls to other women for sexual services that were advertised on the website Backpage.com, investigators say.

The plea deal is rare for a high-profile case in that it was reached just days before a trial in Anoka County, Palumbo noted in the Star Tribune.

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