News 12 First at Five, June 8, 2007.
Burke Co., GA---A five person jury ruled a Burke County inmate death investigation was the result of a suicide by hanging. 54-year-old Ezumer "Shorty" Palmer was found dead in his cell on February 5, 2007 just four days after he was arrested on drug trafficking charges. The Drug Enforcement Administration issued a search warrant on Palmer's home and found more than four pounds of cocaine inside his Keysville home.
The hearing was held on Friday in the Burke County Courthouse in a rare legal proceeding known as a coroner's inquest. The Warren County Coroner, Betty White, and District Attorney, Danny Craig, assisted in questioning but jurors and family members were also allowed to ask the 27 witnesses questions regarding the evidence.
According to federal agents, Palmer was arrested and charged with drug trafficking in 1991 and served ten years behind bars.
White says there was no reason to suspect any foul play at the time of his death but Palmer's family insists he would never have committed suicide considering it was the same day he was supposed to have a bond hearing. But the District Attorney and the Chief Jailer both denied having any knowledge of Palmer's hearing on February 5th.