Special Prosecutor Investigating Jail Cell Death of Raynette Turner

Photo by ABC 7 Eyewitness News
The mother of eight was found dead in a Mount Vernon, New York jail cell last week, two days after alerting officials of her health problems.

A New York state-appointed prosecutor is investigating the death of 43-year-old Raynette Turner, a mother of eight who was found dead in a Mount Vernon, New York jail cell last week.

Turner was taken into custody on Saturday, July 25 on charges of shoplifting from a local grocery store. After her arrest, she told officers that she was suffering from multiple health problems, including issues following bariatric surgery and hypertension. She was taken to a local hospital, but discharged to authorities the following day. On Monday morning, she was found unresponsive in her jail cell. She was pronounced dead a short time later.

Last month, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointed New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as a special prosecutor to investigate any deaths that occur in police custody. New York is the first state to have such a role, and Turner's death is the first case that Schneiderman's office will investigate. 

The findings of the probe, which was launched earlier today, will determine whether or not Schneiderman's office will be pressing charges against the police department. Turner's autopsy came back inconclusive. Toxicology tests are pending.

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