Belmont County Jail inmate hospitalized after apparent overdose | News, Sports, Jobs
A Belmont County Jail inmate has been hit and faces new charges after an apparent fentanyl overdose left him hospitalized and put the lives of other inmates at risk.
On August 14, 35-year-old David Hancher-Palmer, last known residence listed at 3490 Jefferson County Road 1, Rayland in Belmont County Court Records, was found in a comatose state when guards checked his cell. Suspicious material was found nearby and several other inmates exhibited behavior indicative of drug use. Hancher-Palmer was taken to East Ohio Regional Hospital in Martins Ferry.
“It’s about carrying drugs into the jail by him,” said Chief Deputy James Zusack of the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office. “He and other inmates used narcotics, forcing trips to the Eastern Ohio Hospital. It happened about a week ago. We find that more people are trying to get stuff into our prison because they’re addicted to drugs and some of them will try anything to get the stuff in, but we also want to let people know s ‘they do, they’ll be charged and there will be consequences.
He added that the department is confident in the security of the prison.
“We already have the security in place, but it’s just that sometimes people get away with stuff, nothing is 100%,” Zusack said. “We have a good system in place. We have a body scanner and all kinds of things we put them through. It’s just that sometimes things get out of hand.
According to the Belmont County West Division Court, Hancher-Palmer is scheduled to appear today for a preliminary hearing, but no time has been set and the schedule could be changed.
A hearing in the North Division Court will also be scheduled. He had first been in jail for a probation violation.
Belmont County Assistant District Attorney Joseph Vavra will prosecute the case.
“He is being held in jail, not only on this charge, but on other county charges. Right now in western court he’s charged with what’s called illegal transportation of a drug to a detention center, that’s a third degree felony and possession of fentanyl is a fifth degree felony. Vavra said. “It’s still under investigation as to how the drugs got into the prison.”
“He was arrested for probation violation by the northern court. That’s what he was arrested for, that’s what landed him in jail,” Vavra said. “The original crime was … possession of drug paraphernalia.”