Emerging from a 2-year coma, a West Virginia woman says her brother attacked her

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COTTAGEVILLE, W.Va. (NPR) — Two years after a vicious attack sent her into a coma, a woman in West Virginia has regained consciousness — and she gave sheriff’s deputies vital information that led to the arrest of her brother.

A picture of Wanda Palmer's face
Wanda Palmer spent two years in a coma, but she recently emerged and identified her brother as the person who viciously attacked her in 2020. [Jackson County Sheriff’s Office]
Wanda Palmer barely survived the ordeal in June 2020, when an assailant used what was believed to be a machete or hatchet to attack her in her home near Cottageville, some 45 miles north of Charleston.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department said that Palmer was “attacked, hacked, and left for dead.” The attacker’s weapon wasn’t found.

Palmer lapsed into a coma from which she only began to emerge in late June. The sheriff’s department says that while she wasn’t able to speak at length, Palmer managed to tell a deputy that it was her brother who attacked her.

Daniel Palmer III, 55, was arrested on Friday and charged with attempted murder and malicious wounding, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department announced via Facebook.

When neighbors found Palmer on her couch, she was covered in blood and “circling the drain medically [with] massive amounts of head trauma,” Sheriff Ross Mellinger was quoted telling TV station WCHS.

Mellinger said the brother and sister were known to the authorities, and the criminal complaint in the case described Daniel Palmer as a potential suspect due to a “previous violent history” between the two, according to WOWK TV.

Daniel Palmer is currently listed as being held at the South Central Regional Jail and Correctional Facility. His bail amount has been set at $500,000.

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