As violent crime spikes nationwide, conservative Republicans are pushing back against soft-on-crime policies advanced by progressive district attorneys, prosecutors and circuit attorneys.
On Thursday, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey (R) fired Democratic St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner (D) after she refused to step down amid controversy stemming from policies that allowed a repeat offender to commit a violent crime.
The offender, Daniel Riley, was reportedly free on bond though officials were aware of multiple violations of his bond terms.
The AG’s office claims that Gardner was negligent in her duties and therefore filed a petition quo warrantor, a legal mechanism that allows the attorney general to remove a prosecutor for cause.
On Wednesday, Bailey issued Gardner an ultimatum – she could resign or her office would terminate her employment.
The hardline comes after Gardner’s office took no action after 21-year-old Riley repeatedly violated the stipulations of his bond conditions.
According to KSDK news, “Riley 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.”
Gardner’s office was responsible for monitoring Riley’s compliance with bond conditions.
Riley was out on bail awaiting trial for a 2020 armed robbery charge when he sped through the streets of St. Louis, failed to yield, and caused a collision.
The collision resulted in 16-year-old Janae Edmondson being pinned by Riley’s vehicle. Edmondson sustained significant injuries requiring the amputation of both legs.
Local reports note that Edmondson’s father provided emergency triage care, which likely saved the life of the young volleyball player. Janae remains in a hospital in critical condition.
On Tuesday, Gardner released a statement:
“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.”
Gardner added: “It’s unfortunate that there are those who choose 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.”
Gardner issued a follow-up statement on Thursday:
Justina Coronel of KSDK news provided a brief update on Edmondson in a Twitter post:
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