September 11, 2010
This week I learned that a mentally ill inmate who left Eagle Point Unit a couple of weeks ago was murdered while in a lock-down detention unit.
I knew the guy. Sharing first names, we had spoken on occasion. Shannon Palmer appeared to be a normal, polite person. Somewhat stand-offish, but harmless.
One day Shannon asked me if I would help him get his story out to the public. I agreed to listen and sat in my cell with him for nearly two hours as he told me his entire story, which he also told me he had written down and kept in his cell.
It was an extremely far-fetched conspiracy, which he told me I'd think it was. It involved the MCSO, Center for Missing and Exploited Children, CIA, US Military Black ops, and various other agencies who were after him. Men in suits of shimmering armor that cloak a person making them invisible. He believed these invisible assassins had been following him and were waiting outside the prison fence to kill him. He also believed he had been given an implant in his thigh by the CIA.
A couple of weeks ago he was just removed off of the yard here. Rumor has it that he was moved to detention for a "Psych Watch".
Based on news reports, and comments I heard from brown & orange shirts, Shannon's cellmate (another guy I know from Tucson's Manzanita Unit) cut his throat and castrated him.
I don't know exactly what happened, but I do know that there are multiple things that trouble me about this.
Shannon Palmer seemed severely paranoid and delusional. He needed psych help. He was put in detention, which is generally used for discipline or protection. He was put in a lock-down cell with another prisoner. He DIED! A horrible death...
Is ADOC so over-crowded and under-staffed that severely mentally ill prisoners aren't receiving adequate mental health care, protection from other prisoners and themselves, and simply ignored until blood is spilled?
I'm fairly certain Shannon Palmer was a minimum security inmate. I also suspect that his cellmate was not. Why did Mr. Palmer have a celly, let alone a higher security one?
How did he get his throat cut in a lock-down unit that doesn't allow shaving razors to be possessed by prisoners and is supposed to be a highly secure unit?
These are all questions that should be asked. Who will investigate this preventable murder?
1 day ago