Police have no idea how Wanda Palmer survived “massive, massive amounts of head trauma consistent with a machete or hatchet type injury.” She was in a coma for two years. Then, she came to and named her attacker. She knew the vicious animal her entire life. Now he’s in a cage unless he can come up with a $500,000 bond.
Hacked with a hatchet
According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office in West Virginia, 51-year-old Wanda Palmer was hacked nearly to death with a hatchet or similar weapon and left to die. When police discovered her, they thought she was already a goner.
The report from June 10, 2020, describes how deputies found Ms. Palmer “severely beaten in her trailer just outside of Cottageville, so badly bludgeoned and covered in blood that responding officers assumed she was mortally injured.” Officers note, “Wanda, while breathing, was making this sound commonly referred to as the ‘death rattle.’”
The complaint filed against her hatchet hacking assailant explains that’s “colloquial language for the final coughing sounds a person may make moments from death.”
Miraculously, she didn’t die. She did go into a coma and her condition remained grim for a full two years. “She was unconscious at the time and has been virtually ever since,” Sheriff Ross Mellinger relates. Then, she woke up.
According to Sheriff Mellinger, this is “about as rare as it gets. 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.”
After the hatchet attack, his dispatchers got a call in the morning from her neighbors. They found her “injured and covered in blood.” Officers found her “slumped over on her couch.” Two years later, in a nursing home, she started making sounds.
Some single words
On June 27, 2022 detectives on the case got the call they never expected. It was Wanda Palmer’s caseworker letting them know “that she had uttered some single words and was appropriately responding when asked questions.” She wasn’t well enough for an interview until July 12.
A “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.” She named her attacker and knows him well. “During the interview, Wanda Palmer told the deputy that the person who attacked her was her brother, Daniel.” Why bludgeon her with a hatchet? Because he’s “mean.”
Police charged 55-year-old Daniel Palmer with “the attempted murder and malicious wounding of his sister.” As soon as she woke up, she indicated the hatchet wounds to her head and said brother. She made the effort to spell it out for everyone. “Daniel.”
When Bubba showed up in court for his arraignment, he didn’t make any brownie points with the judge. When he came to court Friday, he was “combative, forcing multiple deputies to drag him out of the courthouse.”
Considered a suspect all along, due to a “previous violent history” between the siblings, Daniel Palmer swore up and down he didn’t do it. He claimed “he had not been to his sister’s home for days prior to her attack.”
One of the neighbors put him at the scene “in the front doorway at Wanda’s trailer at midnight on the night she was assaulted.” He never expected her to survive the brutal hatchet attack but she did and she’s demanding justice.