Missouri Attorney General moves to fire St Louis prosecutor

Missouri Attorney General moves to fire St Louis prosecutor

Missouri Attorney General moves to fire St Louis prosecutor

ST. LOUIS —Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey has filed court documents seeking to oust St Louis prosecutor Kim Gardner, who he contends has failed to carry out her duties on multiple fronts.

The move came in the wake of a tragic weekend accident in which a teenage volleyball player from Tennessee lost both legs when a driver with extensive bond violations ran her over while she was walking with her family in downtown St. Louis.

Bailey is among those also questioning why 21-year-old Daniel Riley, a robbery suspect, wasn't behind bars after court records showed more than 50 violations of bond conditions.

Bailey, a Republican, feels Democrat Gardner should be fired on three grounds: failure to prosecute existing cases, failure to file charges in cases brought by police and failure to confer with and inform victims and their families about the status of cases.

“This is about the rule of law and about justice,” Bailey told reporters at the Capitol on Thursday. “Instead of protecting victims, which is her obligation, she’s creating more victims by neglect in office.”

Seventeen-year-old Janae Edmondson was walking with her family to their downtown St. Louis hotel Saturday night when she was struck. Police said Riley, an unlicensed driver, sped through an intersection. His car hit another car that struck Edmondson, pinning her between the two vehicles.

The high school senior, from Smyrna, Tennessee, is “stable and alert and with her family,” said Jeff Wismer, a coach at Mid-TN Volleyball Club. As of Thursday, a GoFundMe campaign on Edmondson's behalf had raised more than $365,000.

“The question needs to be, how was this young man in a car?" Wismer asked. “How was this young man out of his house? How was this young man even in his home and not in prison?”

Riley was out on bond after a 2020 robbery charge that was dismissed and re-filed last year. His bond violations included letting his GPS monitor die and breaking terms for his house arrest, according to court records, which show he violated bond at least seven times since Feb. 1, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Court officials said they didn’t know Riley had violated his bond because prosecutors had never filed a motion to revoke it.

But Gardner, in a statement late Wednesday, blamed judges. She said Riley was released on bond in August “against the state’s wishes.” She said her office sought a bond hearing in January but got no response from the court.