Alleged getaway driver in Major Sutton case died of natural causes: coroner

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Rumors swirled after Myeisha Dale died in March after being found unresponsive in her Lerdo Jail cell.

Dale, accused of acting as the getaway driver for two gang members charged in the killing of 3-year-old Major Sutton, was charged with murder and other offenses that could have sent her to prison for life.

Did the 33-year-old take her own life? Did someone silence her on the chance she would turn on her co-defendants? Two relatives reported she was assaulted while in custody in 2019, but details were sketchy.

As it happens, neither scenario was true.

Dale died of natural causes, with seizure disorder listed as cause of death and bleeding within the skull — possibly resulting from high blood pressure — a contributing factor, according to coroner’s reports obtained by 17 News.

Dale had experienced seizures and developed cataracts since contracting meningitis six years ago, relatives told coroner’s officials.

The only drugs in her system were anticonvulsants, the reports say.

Dale’s co-defendants, Tyrone Johnson, 24, and David Palms, 23, remain charged with first-degree murder in Major’s death, which occurred four years ago this month.

Major was shot and killed shortly before midnight on Nov. 10, 2017, when gunmen kicked down the door of his family’s home and opened fire. His pregnant mother and then-5-year-old brother were wounded.

Investigators said the motive was gang-related: Major’s mother was living with a documented West Side Crips gang member, and both Johnson and Palms are members of the rival East Side Crips. 

Dale had children with Johnson’s older brother.

Johnson and Palms made headlines earlier this year when they escaped from Lerdo Jail through a hole in the roof of their cell.

Surveillance footage showed the men, dressed only in white boxer shorts and shoes, run across the facility’s roof and slide down flag poles as they got away, according to court documents.

Palms was rearrested the same day. Johnson avoided capture for nearly two months, finally taken into custody following a vehicle chase in Bakersfield.

Palms and Johnson have a hearing next month.

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