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Suspect in Jackson County beating case has died

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A man charged with severely beating his sister two years ago has died.

Jackson County Sheriff Ross Mellinger confirmed Friday Daniel Palmer died Thursday evening at a Charleston area hospital. He was sent to the hospital on Tuesday for an unknown ailment just days after his arrest for the 2020 attack on his sister at her Cottageville home.

Daniel Palmer

“His overall health wasn’t a strong suit to begin with so this doesn’t’ come as a complete shock,” Mellinger told MetroNews.

The victim, Wanda Palmer, identified her brother as her attacker last week when she awakened from a two year coma. Investigators were stunned at the development.

The Department of Homeland Security issued the following statement in regard to Palmer’s death.

“Inmate Daniel James Palmer III was booked into the South Central Regional Jail on July 15th, 2022, after being charged with the attempted murder and malicious wounding of his sister. The Jackson County West Virginia Sheriff’s Department reported that the victim disclosed the crimes to law enforcement officials after awakening from a two-year long coma, induced by the injuries Inmate Palmer allegedly inflicted. Inmate Palmer was uncooperative while in custody and during booking procedures at the jail. On Wednesday, July 20th, 2022, Inmate Palmer was transported to CAMC General Hospital after an evaluation by jail medical staff. On Thursday, July 21st, 2022, Inmate Palmer was pronounced dead.”

The sudden turn in the case leaves investigators with a hollow feeling according to the Sheriff.

“From an investigator’s standpoint it’s certainly disheartening. We have to take a lot of price in that we at least closed the case, but anytime you make an arrest you want to see it through with a conviction and ultimately an appropriate sentence,” he said.

Mellenger indicated the focus now should be on Wanda Palmer and her recovery from the vicious beating. She remains in a long term care facility in Wetzel County.

“At the end of the day we feel comfortable we did our job and did it well and really the attention should move forward to the victim in the case. That’s what this is all about anyway is her perseverance and her strength,” he said.

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