42-year-old Raynette Turner died in a holding cell in Mount Vernon in mysterious circumstances. On Saturday the woman was arrested for a minor shoplifting charge. She stole a box of crab legs from a Restaurant Depot in Westchester County. Turner was held over the weekend for the arraignment which was scheduled for Monday. The woman had three other recent arrests for shoplifting and was also suspect for shoplifting from a Target store the same day she was arrested.
It is not clearly known yet what caused her death. A team of investigators was sent to Mount Vernon by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman under an order which grants them to power to probe the death of civilians who were in police custody.
On Sunday night the woman told the cops that she was not feeling well so she was taken to Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital. Turner had undergone bariatric surgery for weight loss and she also had a history of hypertension. After she went to the hospital she was returned to her cell, but the next day she was found unresponsive. On Monday at around 2 p.m. the woman was pronounced dead.
A spokesman for Westchester County DA, Lucian Chalfen, declared:
We are working with the Mount Vernon Police Department, assisting them in the investigation of this death. An autopsy is being performed today and we are awaiting the results of it.”
In the meantime members of the Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit are reviewing the case an trying to figure out whether the matter should be regarded as being in the parameters of executive order.
Raynette Turner was the mother of eight children whose ages varied from 8 to 21. Her husband, Harold Turner, showed up in court on Monday for the arraignment, but he was only told that his wife was not feeling well. He found out about his wife’s death only on Tuesday when some detectives showed up at his door. The man who had been married to Turner for 23 years said that everything seems a cover-up and if the police had done their job his wife would still be alive. He also added that he won’t give up until he will get justice for his dead wife.
Osvaldo Gonzalez, the family’s lawyer, said that the family was kept in the dark and that the detectives did not give details about the mysterious death.
Image Source: NY Daily News