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Emails suggest grand jury probing York County Prison death

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch

The grand jury that was impaneled in York County last February appears to be investigating the April 2018 death of Everett Palmer, an inmate who died in custody at York County Prison, according to a notice of lawsuit filed by Palmer's estate.

A purported email exchange between York County District Attorney Dave Sunday and Daniel Purtell, an attorney representing Palmer's family, was included in a petition filed Tuesday, Jan. 14, in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg by Palmer's mother and the executrix of his estate, Rose Palmer.

The petition is a request to depose York County officials in relation to Everett Palmer's death.

Rose Palmer also filed a praecipe, an official notice of intent to sue someone in civil court, in the York County Prothonotary's Office.

Purtell apparently sent an email to Sunday on May 30 asking for an update on the grand jury proceedings and the investigation into Palmer's death. Purtell requested a meeting with the district attorney's office.

"Unfortunately, the only update by law I'm permitted to give is that the grand jury proceedings are ongoing and the matter continues to be under investigation," Sunday stated.

Sunday went on to say he was committed to finding out the truth about Palmer's death and that his office would continue working to reach that goal.

Everett Palmer Jr.

Kyle King, administrator for the district attorney's office, said Friday that he could not confirm whether the grand jury is investigating Palmer's death, only that a grand jury was impaneled last February and that the investigation into Palmer's death is ongoing.

Background: Everett Palmer, 41, of Seaford, Delaware, died April 9, 2018, in York Hospital, where he was taken after being found repeatedly hitting his head against the door of his prison cell, authorities have said.

The 22-page autopsy report from Forensic Pathology Associates in Allentown listed Palmer's cause of death as "complications following an excited state, associated with methamphetamine toxicity, during physical restraint," with "probable sickling red cell disorder" as a contributing factor.

Palmer's family has said they believe he was murdered.

More:Notice of lawsuit filed by estate of York County Prison inmate who died in custody

More:Pathologist: Prison guards weren't trying to kill Everett Palmer