WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) — When a Palm Beach drawbridge opened and 79-year-old Carol Wright died, bridgeman Artissua Paulk was on duty.
Police say video evidence shows the tender did not check for pedestrians before opening the bridge and that it lied to investigators about those checks.
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According to court records, Paulk was texting his supervisor before and after the incident. Legal experts call the posts incriminating.
In one text, the supervisor tells the tender to “make sure you say [police] you walked outside the balcony 3 different times” and to “delete this message”.
“I would call them not only compelling but also very damaging,” Patrick McKamey said.
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McKamey is a former homicide prosecutor and current criminal defense attorney in Palm Beach County.
While the tender has been charged with manslaughter, McKamey believes the supervisor could also be charged – possibly with obstruction or witness tampering for allegedly advising his employee what to say and asking him to delete the texts.
“The fact that the supervisor says make sure you delete this message, what does that tell you? It is clearly a consciousness of guilt. Delete it because I’m advising you and tampering with you as a witness,” McKamey said.
McKamey was then asked, “If this were you, how seriously would you look at the supervisor?”
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“I would say the supervisor should be very concerned, because it looks like criminal liability on his part,” he replied.