Missouri AG demands the resignation of Kim Gardner after a crash that costs a teenager her legs (Update)

The story is heartbreaking. Saturday night a teenager named Janae Edmondson was in downtown St. Louis with her family for a volleyball tournament in which she was playing. Just before 9pm, Edmondson and her family were crossing the street near the site of the tournament when a driver failed to yield, crashed into another car and then hit Edmondson, pinning her legs between two cars. The crash itself was caught on video. Watch the very top of the image.


Edmondson survived and is in stable condition but both of her legs were crushed and had to be amputated.

Jeff Wismer has known Edmonson and her family for years as the assistant director of the Mid TN Volleyball Club in Smyrna, Tennessee, near Nashville…

Wismer said the 17-year-old is stable, but unfortunately both her legs had to be amputated.

He described Edmondson as a “gifted young person,” who just last week committed to play collegiate volleyball.

Wismer described the loss as “stunning.”

Imagine being an athlete who is about to head to college and suddenly losing both legs. How does anyone deal with something like that, much less a 17-year-old?

The driver behind the wheel of the car was 21-year-old Daniel Riley. Police say Riley caused the crash by speeding, failing to yield or even slow down. And this is where the story takes a turn which probably won’t surprise you. Daniel Riley was out on bond for a robbery case in 2020 for which he still has not been tried. He was out on bond even though he had violated the conditions of his release more than 50 times.

St. Louis prosecutors came under fire Tuesday for failing to try to put a man back in jail even though he violated the conditions of his bond more than 50 times.

Instead, Daniel Riley was left free, and police say he sped down a downtown street this past weekend, causing a crash that left an out-of-town teenager critically injured…

“Every time a violation was filed, the assigned prosecutor and defense attorney of record received a notification via email according to normal procedure,” said courts spokesperson Joel Currier. “However, the prosecutor, to date, has never filed a motion.”…

His bond violations included letting his GPS monitor die and leaving the confines of the perimeter of his house arrest, according to court records. Court records show he violated bond at least seven times since Feb. 1.


The prosecutor’s office in this case is led by Kim Gardner, another progressive who wants to reform the criminal justice system. You may remember her as the person who was doing her best to prosecute the McCloskey case a few years go. Gardner’s office immediately offered an excuse for why Daniel Riley’s 2020 case hadn’t been prosecuted, only it turned out to be false.

Riley, 21, was out on bond for a 2020 robbery charge that was dismissed and re-filed last year. A spokesperson for Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner defended the office on Tuesday, saying the case was dropped and re-filed because the victim died before trial, throwing a wrench into prosecution. The spokesperson also said the final ruling on whether a suspect’s bond is revoked is in the hands of a judge.

But a judge’s order from the day the case was dropped shows the victim was alive and present for the hearing, and prosecutors weren’t ready to proceed. And court officials said they never knew Riley violated his bond, because prosecutors never filed a motion to revoke it.

First off, if Gardner’s office thought the victim in the 2020 case had died, which they apparently did until earlier this week, why in the world would they allow Daniel Riley out on bond? And if the victim in the earlier case wasn’t dead, why weren’t they ready for Riley’s trial? More to the point, how does this office not know the basic facts about this case?

Gardner’s office claims they did notify the court about the bond violations but admits they never made any attempt to revoke Riley’s bond. As mentioned above, the court claims they knew nothing about the bond violations.

This case has outraged a lot of people including Missouri AG Andrew Bailey who, yesterday, demanded Kim Gardner’s resignation.


This is pretty brutal: “Instead of protecting victims, Circuit Attorney Gardner is creating them.”

Gardner’s office released a statement last night in response which suggests she’s not planning to resign:

First, I want to express my personal deepest sympathy to the victim in this case and her family.We know her recovery will be long and difficult. I will ensure my office will put all of our resources into holding Daniel Riley accountable and providing support for the young woman andher family on her road to recovery.

This situation is a tragedy for our community and our criminal justice system. It’s important for the community to understand the prosecutor’s role in this process. Here are the facts:

  • On November 6, 2020, when the 2020 robbery case against Mr. Riley was filed, the Court set the bond as personal recognizance with GPS.
  • On December 12, 2021, prosecutors asked for a bond revocation, which was denied by Judge Hettenbach.
  • On April 29, 2022, the court set a trial date for July 18, 2022 without allowing the state to ensure witnesses were available.
  • The prosecutor asked Judge Hettenbach for a short continuance due to witness unavailability, as well as her own, and the defense also did not believe the trial would proceed on that date. Judge Hettenbach refused the request. The case was dismissed by prosecutors and re-filed immediately.
  • On August 10, 2022, Mr. Riley was again released on personal recognizance and GPS, against the state’s wishes.
  • In November 2022, the court modified the bond which allowed Mr. Riley to leave home for work, although they knew he was already leaving his home.
  • January 2023, prosecutors asked the court for a hearing date to address Mr. Riley’s bond. There was no response.

Judges have the sole authority to determine the bond conditions of a defendant. Bond violations and decisions do not solely rest on the shoulders of prosecutors. In this matter, prosecutors asked on several occasions for higher bonds, and those requests were denied.


Notice they’ve dropped the claim that the witness suddenly died. Now the excuse for not being ready for the trial (nearly two years after the case was filed) is that witnesses and prosecutor weren’t available. Gardner’s office has announce that she will make a public statement this afternoon. AG Bailey is also planning his own announcement:

Bailey’s announcement is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. Gardner’s announcement is planned for 2:30 p.m.

Here’s the gist of Bailey’s announcement.

I’ll update this with video and with Kim Gardner’s announcement once it’s available. In the meantime, if you haven’t considered it before please take a look at HotAir’s VIP program. This includes access to some exclusive content and includes access to commenting for all Townhall sites. The link to join is at the bottom of this post. Thanks for looking.

Update: Here’s the video of Bailey’s statement. He says he needs to prove neglect in order to fire her and notes “inconsistencies” in her explanations of this case. “It’s time to hold her accountable for her failure to do her job,” he said.

Update: I meant to add this earlier. Here’s a local news report on the whole situation which gives some reaction from other politicians in including the mayor and a state rep. who are both Democrats. “At some point you have to prosecute somebody,” Rep. Rasheen Adlridge Jr. said.

Update: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a story up on AG Bailey’s announcement including an explanation of “quo warranto” the law he is using to try to remove her.


After years of high-profile controversy, Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner’s fate could be decided with an obscure provision of state law.

Attorney General Andrew Bailey on Thursday filed a “quo warranto” petition that seeks Gardner’s right to hold office.

Most such challenges are fairly straightforward, said Michael Wolff, former chief justice of the Missouri Supreme Court: An official has committed a crime, moved out of the jurisdiction or done something to become ineligible to continue in the job.

Bailey’s threat against Gardner is different. Bailey isn’t saying she’s not eligible for office. He’s saying she’s unfit.

So this may not be a slam dunk but it’s certainly a strong nudge for Gardner to consider resigning. Given that lack of support she’s getting right now she may decide it’s not worth fighting. The AG just tweeted this:

Update: This summary of Gardner’s history and her time in office is worth a read. Here’s a portion of it.

In a functioning criminal-justice system, there is always friction between police and prosecutors. Police figure they have enough evidence to arrest somebody, but the prosecutors figure they need more evidence to convict. It is a constant push-pull.

There was no give in Gardner’s game. She made it clear that she did not trust the police. At all.

It is a problem when prosecutors are too trusting, but it is a disaster when they consistently take the side of the accused. With Gardner at the helm, the system broke down…

…the case that really stuck with me was the shooting death of 7-year-old Xavier Usanga in 2019. The shooting occurred when Malik Ross, wearing a bulletproof vest and caring a Glock, fired at two teens across the street. An errant round killed Xavier.

Ross then stole money from his employer so he could get out of town. That’s what he told police. He knew what he had done, and he had to leave. He also said he fired in self-defense, although audio from a nearby security camera recorded only one weapon being shot and the shell casings recovered were from only one weapon.

Gardner refused to prosecute. As was her custom, she did not explain her reasoning. Fortunately, the stealing case went to federal court, Ross pleaded guilty. The federal prosecutor asked the judge — a Bill Clinton appointee — to sentence above the guidelines because the underlying cause of the stealing was the shooting death of a child.


The judge gave Ross 10 years. “That is not the way the system is supposed to work, but what is it supposed to do when a prosecutor refuses to do her job?” the author writes. Read the whole thing.

Update: This is interesting. Wonder if this is one of the “inconsistencies” AG Bailey was talking about.

Update: Here’s Gardner’s response. She is not resigning.

Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner spurned an ultimatum from Missouri’s attorney general on Thursday, declining to step down and claiming that calls for her resignation are a “political stunt.”…

“The buck stops with my office and we did our job,” Gardner said. “Could we do more? We could. But did we do nothing? That is not true.”

Gardner again blamed judges for not revoking Riley’s bond and lamented that prosecutors’ handling of the case sparked such political vitriol.

“My office cannot make a judge revoke bond for a defendant,” she said. “It is particularly frustrating that the willful ignorance has empowered the ongoing harassment of the hardworking men and women in my office who handle cases.”

Here’s the video. As you’ll see she has a bunch of supporters in the room including the man who asked the first “question” about what she can do to stop racists from harassing her. It doesn’t improve much from there. A bit later some of the supporters try to answer questions from actual reporters on her behalf.

Her claim that her office asked three times to revoke bail for Daniel Riley “orally” doesn’t seem to match with that transcript posted in the previous update. It certainly looks as if her office agreed to his release.


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