JACKSON COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — A man is facing charges in connection to a 2020 attack that left a woman in a coma for two years.
According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Wanda Palmer was attacked where she was hacked and left for dead in June 2020 near Cottageville. She had been hospitalized and was in a coma as a result from the incident.
“Massive massive amounts of head trauma consistent with a machete or hatchet type injury to the head,” said Ross Mellinger, Jackson County Sheriff. “She was unconscious at the time and has been virtually ever since.”
Now, Palmer is awake and her brother, Daniel J. Palmer III, 55, of Cottageville, is charged with attempted murder and malicious wounding in connection to her attack. His bond has been set at $500,000, and he awaits trial at South Central Jail.
After two years of no answers, Mellinger said everything is now coming full circle.
“This about as rare as it gets,” Mellinger said. ” I think it’s a true testament to the perseverance and strength and victim herself. And that’s really what it is all about. Being strong enough to persevere through something like this two years later.”
According to the criminal complaint, the Jackson County E991 Center received a call on the morning of June 10, 2020 that Wanda Palmer’s neighbors had found her in her trailer home “injured and covered in blood.” Officers who arrived on scene say they found her “slumped over on her couch” and say she was severely wounded and unresponsive.
Authorities described Wanda Palmer’s injuries as appearing that she had been “bludgeoned about the head and face with an object that caused lacerations.” She was taken to a hospital for treatment and was unable to communicate what had happened to the investigators. The complaint states Wanda Palmer remained unresponsive and was taken to a nursing home to be cared for.
The criminal complaint states that Daniel Palmer had initially been considered a possible suspect due to a “previous violent history” between the siblings. Investigators say he denied being involved and said he had not been to his sister’s home for days prior to her attack. The complaint states, however, that a witness investigators spoke with claimed to have seen Daniel Palmer at the front door of his sister’s trailer around midnight on the night of the incident.
Investigators say they worked for months to eliminate possible suspects and generate leads, but Wanda Palmer remained unresponsive and unable to provide information in the case.
According to the complaint, investigators received a call from Wanda Palmer’s APS worker on June 27, 2022, that she had uttered “some single words” and was appropriately responding when asked questions. Authorities say they went to the facility in New Martinsville where she was being cared for on July 12, 2022 to speak with her.
The complaint says one deputy went into Wanda Palmer’s room at the facility to speak one-on-one and said she appeared to be oriented to the situation and gave coherent and relevant answers. During the interview, Wanda Palmer told the deputy that the person who attacked her was her brother, Daniel.