OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Okla. - The accused killer in a Midwest City cold case tried to commit suicide Thursday morning.
"I got a call at 6:00 that he’d supposedly cut his wrist, and I confirmed that with the jail medical staff, but
he was okay," Box said.
The Sheriff’s ffice is not saying what Palma used to slit his wrists, whether it was contraband, a razor he's issued to shave, or a part of his bed inside the cell. That information can't be released because of federal HIPPA guidelines.
Palma was on a lower priority suicide watch where a jailer checked in on him every 15 minutes.
Obviously, the suicide attempt happened between those check-ins.
Palma's injuries were not severe enough to send him to the hospital; jail staffers were able to treat him.
Now, he's on suicide prevention 1 - the highest level of suicide watch at the jail. That means a detention officer is now stationed outside Palma's solitary cell, watching him constantly through an opening in the door, 24 hours a day.
The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office is investigating what happened.
"All of this, the facts surrounding what happened this morning, will be written up and be investigated so we can figure out exactly what occurred and maybe find out ways, if there was something we could have done to prevent it or if we have to take different action," OSCO Spokesperson Mark Opgrande.
Palma was due in court for a brief preliminary hearing conference Thursday afternoon. He did not go to that, but his attorney did, and got it continued.
Box says he has an overwhelming amount of police reports and forensic evidence to sort through in this high profile case that stayed cold for years.
"The reports are 17-18 years old, and there’s volumes, probably more than I’ve ever received in any case since I’ve been practicing law," Box said.
Palma's preliminary hearing conference is now set for February.
The 56-year-old is facing life in prison if he's convicted in Hatfield's murder.