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Inmate held in York County Prison for 2 days before death

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

A York County Prison inmate who died this week, possibly from self-inflicted injuries, had been locked up there for two days on DUI charges, according to court records.

The York County Coroner's Office said Everett Palmer Jr., 41, of Seaford, Delaware, caused his own injuries.

However, an autopsy performed Tuesday, April 10, at Allentown's Lehigh Valley Hospital failed to determine the cause and manner of his death, which are listed as pending, according to the coroner's office.

York County Prison in Springettsbury Township, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016.

More testing is needed to make those determinations, the coroner's office said.

Palmer was in his single cell at the Springettsbury Township facility when he started hitting his head against his cell door after becoming agitated about 4:20 a.m. Monday, April 9, according to the coroner's office.

He was taken to the prison's medical clinic, where he became unresponsive about 4:45 a.m., according to the coroner's office.

Palmer was then taken to York Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:46 a.m. Monday, the coroner's office said.

DUI crash: York County court records reveal state police filed drunken driving charges against Palmer on Dec. 21, 2016, after Palmer crashed his car in Codorus Township the previous October.

After Palmer failed to respond to a court summons from the office of District Judge Thomas Reilly, the judge issued an arrest warrant for Palmer on Jan. 23, 2017, court records state.

Palmer was arrested Saturday, April 7, and taken to the county's central booking unit, where he was arraigned that night on his charges and had bail set at $5,000, records state.

He was then committed to York County Prison.

The charges: At the time of his death, Palmer remained charged with DUI, careless driving and failing to stay in his own lane.

Charging documents state he was driving a 2008 Honda Accord when he crashed in the 6500 block of Steltz Road just after 2 a.m. Oct. 28, 2016.

At the time, he was living in North East, Maryland, police said.

State troopers responded to the crash and found Palmer on a stretcher in an ambulance, awaiting transport to a local hospital, documents state.

Ambulance crew members told troopers that Palmer smelled of alcohol.

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Flown to hospital: A trooper tried to speak with Palmer at the scene, but he didn't respond; he was then flown to York Hospital by medical helicopter, according to court documents.

Later, at York Hospital, troopers indicated they wanted him to submit to alcohol testing, but Palmer responded with a one-word answer, documents state: "Attorney."

Taking that answer as a refusal, troopers obtained a search warrant for a sample of his blood, documents state.

Testing later determined Palmer's blood-alcohol level to be 0.148 percent, according to charging documents. In Pennsylvania, an adult is driving drunk at 0.08 percent.

State police, who investigate crimes and deaths at York County Prison, have not responded to requests seeking additional information.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.