(KSDK) As a 17-year-old Tennessee girl remains in a St. Louis hospital after a crash, the city’s top prosecutor is facing political backlash for her office’s response to the incident and the suspect’s previous cases.
As of Wednesday evening, the backlash now includes Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey demanding she resign by noon on Thursday or face immediate removal proceedings from his office.
Janae Edmondson and her family were walking back to their hotel in downtown St. Louis Saturday when 21-year-old Daniel Riley sped down St. Charles street, failed to brake, hit several cars and pinned Edmondson. Edmundson was rushed to the hospital for treatment, but her legs had to be amputated.
In the days following the crash, the I-Team learned Riley was out on bond awaiting trial for a 2020 armed robbery at the time of the crash. The I-Team also learned he had violated the terms of his bond at least 50 times, but the circuit attorney’s office did not ask for his bond to be revoked.
In response to the ongoing coverage of the case, Gardner’s office released the following statement:
“A young girl’s life was tragically changed because of the inexcusable behavior of a young man. Our hearts go out to the victim and her family for this unspeakable tragedy that will undoubtedly have a lasting impact not only on her, but her family and loved ones. It’s unfortunate that there are those who chose to twist the facts to take advantage of this situation for their own selfish motives. This is not the time for finger pointing, it’s time to support this family and ensure that justice is served.”
That statement and the response overall from Gardern’s office have elected officials and local leaders from both sides of the aisle responding. Many have called the case emblematic of the dysfunction in Gardner’s office and some state and local leaders have also called for her resignation.
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey (R)
Attorney General Andrew Bailey released the following statement:
In an effort to protect the people of St. Louis, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey is demanding the resignation of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner by noon on February 23, or face immediate removal proceedings in the form of a writ of quo warranto brought by his office.
“As Attorney General, I want to protect the people of St. Louis, and that includes protecting victims of crime and finding justice for them,” said Attorney General Andrew Bailey. “Instead of protecting victims, Circuit Attorney Gardner is creating them. My office will do everything in its power to restore order, and eliminate the chaos in St. Louis caused by Kim Gardner’s neglect of her office.”
On February 18, 2023, Janae Edmonson, a teenage athlete, was walking back to her hotel in downtown St. Louis after a volleyball tournament when she was run down by a speeding vehicle and lost both of her legs. One was severed, and the other maimed. Ms. Edmonson survived the crash due to her father’s quick action and emergency medical training, but both of her legs were amputated.
The driver of the speeding vehicle, Daniel Riley, should never have been in that car. He is a dangerous gunman who should have been in jail. In 2020, the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office charged Riley with First Degree Robbery and Armed Criminal Action for stealing a firearm from a victim at gunpoint. The Circuit Attorney dismissed and refiled that case on July 18, 2022, but not before Riley – who was out on bond – earned 54 separate violations for failing to comply with the pre-trial bond conditions. After the Circuit Attorney refiled the case, Riley earned 50 more violations. The Circuit Attorney never filed a motion to revoke Riley’s bond.
This is the latest in a long pattern of brazen neglect. The St. Louis Circuit Attorney has a long history of failure to prosecute violent crime, with a backlog of at least 3,000 cases.
“It is time for the Circuit Attorney to go and for the rule of law and justice to prevail,” said Attorney General Bailey.
Mayor Tishaura Jones (D)
“Take some accountability,” Jones said at an improvised press availability Wednesday. “Accountability isn’t weak. Accountability isn’t pointing fingers. Accountability is when something goes wrong, you take accountability, say ‘This is my mess up,’ and, ‘How can we work together to fix it?'”
You can watch the full press conference below:
She later tweeted more statements: