Family exploring legal action in death of 98-year-old Marion County Record publisher

Published: Aug. 21, 2023 at 2:39 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2023 at 4:42 PM CDT
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MARION, Kan. (KCTV) - The Marion County Record on Monday released video of the Marion Police Department raid on the home of the paper’s co-owners.

98-year-old Joan Meyer was home alone at the time of the raid on Friday, August 11. The video showed her visibly shaken and angry that police are in her home. At one point, she tells Police Chief Gideon Cody to step outside of the house and wait. She repeatedly tells the officers that she doesn’t want them in her house.

Joan Meyer died the day following the raid. Her son, publisher Eric Meyer, said he believes the stress and anger she experienced were contributing factors to her death.

WARNING: Video contains some adult language.

The coroner’s report shows the cause of death as “sudden cardiac arrest.”

“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to connect the raid to her sudden cardiac arrest, 24 hours later,” said Bernie Rhodes, attorney for the paper. “You can see just how upset she was. We are exploring all of our options, which includes a wrongful death lawsuit.”

Eric had reportedly left the home to go to the newspaper offices which were also raided that day, along with the home of Vice Mayor Ruth Herbal. Police seized computers, phones and other equipment in connection with an identity theft investigation.

According to the paper, the video released is about an hour and a half into the two-hour-long raid of the home.

Just days after the raid, the Marion County Attorney withdrew the warrants after “insufficient evidence” and ordered that all items needed to be returned.

“We are still in the process of analyzing all the seized items to see if any were accessed by police,” Rhodes said Sunday. “We may know something this week.”

ALSO READ: ‘Seized, but not silenced’: Marion newspaper releases first paper since police raid

An investigation by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation is continuing.

For all of our coverage on the Marion County Record raid, click here.