Tennessee teen Janae Edmondson, a talented volleyball player who verbally committed to play for the University of Tennessee Southern, lost her legs last month after a convicted criminal who was not punished for repeatedly violating his release conditions drove into her going 20 mph over the speed limit.
Daniel Riley, who police say didn’t attempt to brake before the crash, is charged with second-degree assault, driving without a valid license, and other crimes but the real blame, Missourians say, rests on St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner.
Thanks to George Soros, the Democrat megadonor famous for elevating fatal soft-on-crime policies and politicians, Gardner joined the circuit in 2016.
Instead of addressing the thousands of pending cases sitting on her desk, Gardner used her tenure to prosecute her political enemies like the couple who tried to protect their home from Black Lives Matter rioters during the summer of 2020. One year before that, Gardner barred dozens of St. Louis officers from bringing cases after an anti-police group accused them of being racist. When she wasn’t doing that, Gardner jetted around on activist trips sponsored by pro-criminal groups and raked in more Soros funds for her re-election campaign.
The reason Riley was able to get behind the wheel that fateful February night was because his July 2022 trial for a 2020 armed robbery was delayed due to Gardner, who claimed she felt unprepared to argue at the time.
“Witnesses and victim timely appear. Defense ready. State announces ‘not ready,’” presiding Judge Bryan Hettenbach wrote.
Instead of sending Riley to prison for robbing people at gunpoint, attorneys were forced to cancel and refile the charges and send Riley home with arrest terms only enforced by a GPS bracelet.
Even before the July trial, Riley had violated the terms of his bond at least 37 times. He even faced house arrest from a judge in April of 2022 for failing to follow the rules of his GPS monitoring system. That didn’t matter to Gardner.
Even when Gardner’s office was notified that post-trial Riley violated his conditions of release at least 40 times, one of which happened five days before Riley hit Edmondson, the prosecutor never filed a motion to revoke Riley’s bond. A grand jury indicted Riley for armed robbery on Jan. 17, 2023, but he continued to violate his house arrest orders.
It wasn’t until Riley mowed down Edmondson that he was locked up in jail and held without bail, something Edmondson’s parents had to “beg” a judge to do.
Minus some coverage from People about her recovery, Edmondson and the crimes committed against her have largely escaped the notice of the corporate media. Instead, the media have focused their attention on the “mounting criticism” Gardner faces for her history of permitting crime.
That criticism, Missourians say, is long overdue.
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey said years of failure by Gardner to address victims’ concerns, prosecute criminals, and file charges qualify her for removal.
“Ms. Edmonson’s injuries are the direct result of years of willful neglect from Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner,” Bailey wrote his suit to remove Gardner. “As the Circuit Attorney, Respondent is morally, ethically, and legally responsible for the conduct of her office. For years, the Circuit Attorney’s Office has failed to prosecute cases to resolution, has failed to inform and confer with victims, and has failed to even review and file cases submitted by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Respondent has, therefore, forfeited her office.”
Gardner says she made multiple requests for Riley to be taken into custody before he hit Edmondson were denied. Later, she admitted during a press conference that her office “could have done more.”
While Gardner and her allies claim the accountability she faces is “racist” and unjust, the Missouri legislature also moved this week to pass legislation that would allow the state’s Republican governor to replace prosecutors in cities and areas where crime is rampant.
Jordan Boyd is a staff writer at The Federalist and co-producer of The Federalist Radio Hour. Her work has also been featured in The Daily Wire, Fox News, and RealClearPolitics. Jordan graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @jordanboydtx.