Grand jury declines indictment in death of Denison teacher

A Grayson County Grand Jury has declined to indict a man police say hit and killed Katie...
A Grayson County Grand Jury has declined to indict a man police say hit and killed Katie Palmer, a Denison teacher, back in April.(KXII)
Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 4:11 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - A Grayson County Grand Jury has declined to indict a man accused of hitting and killing a Denison teacher back in April.

The Grayson County District Attorney’s office says Katie Palmer, a teacher a Scott Middle School, and her husband John were walking east on Glenwood Drive in Denison. They say a pickup truck, driven by Cory Foster, crossed over into the left half of the road, hitting both of them. Katie was flown to a hospital where she died from her injuries.

They say Foster claimed he had been blinded by the sun and never saw the couple. A DPS trooper on the scene said Foster was not intoxicated at the time of the crash.

The Grayson County District Attorney’s Office says the grand jury listened to three hours of testimony and deliberated for one hour before declining to indict Cory Foster for manslaughter or criminal negligence.

“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 First Asst. District Attorney Kerye Ashmore.

“My wife got thrown 75 feet, I got thrown about 70 feet, I had to crawl over to my wife,” said John Palmer,Katie’s husband. “I couldn’t stand up and walk, I had to crawl over to my wife and see her gasp for air and die right in front of me.”

Katie’s mother, Rhonda Nail, says Foster wasn’t given a breathalyzer or blood test following the accident. It’s something she vows to change even knowing there won’t be a criminal trial.

“If I have to do it ‘til the day I die I will have this in as Katie’s law that from now on, from this day forward, every highway patrol will be called on the carpet to do the right thing and get a blood test,” said Nail.

Palmer says it’s an injustice that Foster is not in jail and his goal now is to live for Katie.

“Tomorrow’s not promised and it can change in an instant. Your whole life can change in and instant. Even when you’re following all the rules,” Palmer said.

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