Photos of Denison teacher Katie Palmer were planted near the sidewalk on the west side of the Grayson County Courthouse Wednesday as the slain woman’s friends and family gathered to remember her while grand jurors heard evidence in the case against the person alleged to have caused her death.
Back in April, Katie Palmer, 38, and her husband John Palmer were walking east on Glenwood Drive at around 7:45 a.m. when they were both struck by an east-bound F250, according to statements made in April by Department of Public Safety Staff Sgt. Mark Tackett.
Katie Palmer was flown to Medical Center of Plano and John Palmer was taken to Texoma Medical Center. John Palmer survived his injuries, but Katie Palmer did not.
Wednesday morning, John Palmer and his mother-in-law Rhonda Nail were among the group of people who gathered outside the Grayson County courthouse whiIe grand jurors in the west courtroom upstairs considered the circumstances surrounding Katie Palmer’s death.
"I am afraid," Nail said when discussing the possibility that the person arrested in her daughter’s death might not get indicted. She said her daughter was "just walking along in the golf course and from out of nowhere a speeding pickup comes in and knocks her 142 feet, kills her and almost kills her husband John."
Hours later, First Assistant Grayson County District Attorney Kerye Ashmore said the grand jury had declined to indict Cory Foster on manslaughter or criminal negligence charges stemming from the wreck. Ashmore’s statement said Foster said he had been blinded by the sun and condensation on his windshield when the wreck occurred and never saw the couple.
"The trooper who arrived at the scene performed standard field sobriety tests on Foster and concluded he was not intoxicated," the statement said.
"The Grand Jury was provided all the information we had during three hours of testimony, including testimony from the expert we hired, and deliberated for an hour. They obviously worked hard on this case and struggled with the decision of whether the facts rose to the level of criminal negligence. That is an enormous responsibility. This is a tragic, horrible incident. I cannot imagine the pain John and his family have endured. Our hearts go out to them," said Ashmore.