Her husband, Herman Turner, waited for hours at the Mount Vernon courtroom Monday afternoon for his wife’s arraignment. No one bothered to tell him that his wife had passed away in a nearby cell.
According to Turner, it wasn't until Tuesday that he learned the shocking news. Turner said during a press conference that two detectives came to his house and banged on the door and said, “We regret to inform you that your wife passed away," but they couldn't tell him when or how it happened. Turner added that the detectives also let him believe that he could see his wife at the police station, which proved to be untrue.
Due to the lack of answers, Herman Turner hired an attorney, Osvaldo Gonzalez, who is planning to file an action on behalf of the Turner family. The whole situation reeks of "gross neglect," commented Gonzalez.
"They left her languishing in her cell," said Gonzalez.
According to Mount Vernon's Police Commissioner, Richard Burke, the police arrested Turner Saturday afternoon after she allegedly stole crab legs from Restaurant Depot. For this non-violent crime, she spent the remainder of the weekend in a jail cell, waiting for Monday's arraignment.
On Sunday, Raynette Turner reported feeling ill. Police brought her to the Mount Vernon hospital across the street from the station at about 8 p.m. About two hours later, she was released and returned to the cell.
This hospital visit was "beyond the speed of light," said Gonzalez, who is still unsure about her treatment there.
At approximately 11 a.m. on Monday morning, Turner met with a representative from the criminal justice department after notifying the police of feeling ill again, Gonzalez told Metro.
She returned to her cell after the interview. Police found her dead three hours later. No one informed her husband, who was upstairs.
"They weren't brave enough to tell him. After 2 p.m., everyone knew she was dead,” Gonzalez told Metro.
Gonzalez argued that if the officers had gone to her cell and visited her, then they could have called in for medical help right away and she would be alive today.
"The cover-up is the smoothing it over … somebody should have done something,” Gonzalez told Metro.
The Westchester District Attorney's office has been investigating the case. The autopsy report has not been completed, reported Lucian Chalfen, a spokesperson for the D.A.'s office.
"We are working with the police department. The medical examiner sent samples to be tested. We are waiting for those results which may take weeks,” Chalfen told Metro. He also confirmed that the NY State Attorney General is “in the loop.”
“This can’t go unanswered. I’m sorry I’m not going to let this rest,” said Turner.