Missouri attorney general to amend charges against St. Louis prosecutor after uncovering new evidence

(The Center Square) – Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey alerted the courts late Wednesday that “additional, significant information” supporting his action to remove Democratic St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner is forthcoming.

Bailey filed a three-page motion in circuit court stating he will file an amended petition against Gardner on March 21. He requested all pending motions be heard soon after and the trial take place in June.

Alternately, Gardner’s attorneys filed an objection on Wednesday to quash a subpoena from Bailey’s office, stating it’s “unreasonable, oppressive, overly broad, unduly burdensome, in violation of Missouri public policy, and nothing more than an inappropriate fishing expedition.”

After Bailey gave Gardner a deadline of noon on Feb. 23 to resign, he filed a petition in Quo Warranto to remove her from office. Gardner received 61% of the vote in the 2020 Democratic primary and 74% of the vote in the November election. However, Democratic St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, business leaders and state representatives openly questioned her capability to remain in the office.

As the Missouri House of Representatives worked to pass a measure to return the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to state control, citizens and elected officials became outraged after a 21-year-old released on bond crashed a car into a 17-year-old volleyball player who was competing in a St. Louis tournament on Feb. 18.

The driver, Daniel Riley, violated pretrial bond more than 100 times after being charged with first degree robbery and armed criminal action for stealing a firearm at gunpoint in 2020. Janae Edmondson, who received a college volleyball scholarship, had both legs amputated after being pinned by the car Riley drove.

Earlier this week, Gardner’s attorneys filed documents denying all allegations made by Bailey, requesting all discovery be stopped and the case dismissed. They also argued release of some documents would violate attorney-client privilege.

“Tragic and horrific crimes are going to occur in a city with a population of nearly 300,000,” Gardner’s attorneys wrote. “When they do, Ms. Gardner and her Office aggressively prosecute the criminals who commit those obscene crimes. But when such crimes occur, the blame rests on the criminal, not on the prosecutor (or the police). Mr. Bailey’s Petition seeks to take advantage of a tragedy for political gain, while ignoring the will of the voters.”

Bailey’s latest motion said Gardner’s request to dismiss was without merit and the court shouldn’t spend time on briefings and arguments until he files his amended charge.

“Since the suit was filed, and while discovery is ongoing, a number of witnesses have come forward with additional, significant information that supports the petition,” Bailey’s motion states. “Further, the State’s analysis of court files and statistical data has yielded new relevant facts.”

In a letter to Bailey’s office, St. Louis City Counselor Sheena Hamilton said some documents were provided “without defensible relevance objections” and the subpoena’s language for items “about or concerning Kimberly Gardner” was broad.

“Many of the documents have no logical or legal relationship to the allegations …” Hamilton wrote.

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