New information in Katie Palmer case
SHERMAN, Texas (KTEN)—The family of Katie Palmer held a news conference Tuesday at which they produced documents they believe show why the Grayson County District Attorney's Office did not prosecute Cory Foster, who struck and killed Palmer in 2020.
They were joined by former Grayson County Assistant District Attorney Matt Flanagan.
"Our position on [District Attorney] Brett Smith has been the same for the past three-and-a half years," said John Palmer, the dead woman's husband.
The Palmers were struck and seriously injured as they were walking in their Denison neighborhood on April 21, 2020. Katie Palmer died the next day. She was 39. A grand jury declined to indict Foster for manslaughter.
Grayson County court records show Brett Smith had been retained as a defense lawyer by a member of Foster's family in a 2004 DWI case prior to his election as district attorney.
The Palmer family claims Smith failed to disclose this information to them, and believes he should not have been involved in the Palmer case.
"What we're trying to do is educate voters on who Brett Smith is, and we've been doing this for three-and-a-half years," John Palmer said. "The public needs to know."
Matt Flanagan resigned from his position as an assistant DA under Smith, effective January 28. He said Smith's attitude towards the Palmer case was part of that decision.
Flanagan alleges that Smith made the following comment in reference to his opponent for DA:
"John Kermit Hill, the man running against Smith, only has one, and I quote, 'dead horse issue' to run on in this election," Flanagan said. "That dead horse issue is, in fact, a dead woman."
In 2020, a grand jury declined to indict Foster for manslaughter.
KTEN reached out to DA Brett Smith for comment. He responded with the following statement:
"My opponent cannot run on his record or experience for District Attorney, so he is resorting to lies, dirty politics, and the continued weaponization of a tragedy. Let me be clear — I have never been arrested or convicted of a crime - period.
"My focus is protecting Grayson County families from the fentanyl and criminals pouring across the Texas border. I will continue to run on my record and work hard every day to protect Grayson County."
Smith and Hill are running for the Republican nomination for Grayson County District Attorney. Grayson County voters will make their choice on March 5.