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Gardner releases new statement apologizing to family, pointing finger at judge in bail dispute

The St. Louis Circuit Attorney sent sympathies to the victim and her family before saying a judge denied her office's requests to keep the crash suspect behind bars.

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner released a statement Wednesday evening amid calls for her to resign over her office's response to a crash that cost a Tennessee teenager her legs.

In the statement, Gardner started by sending her "personal deepest sympathy" to Janae Edmondson and her family, a sentiment missing from her Tuesday statement. 

"I will ensure my office will put all of our resources into holding Daniel Riley accountable and providing support for the young woman and her family on her road to recovery," the statement said.

Police say Janae and her family were walking back to their hotel when Daniel Riley, who was out on bond after being charged in a 2020 armed robbery, sped down St. Charles Street, failed to brake, hit several cars and pinned Edmondson.

The statement from Gardner's office Wednesday goes on to lay out a case for why a judge is to blame for the man suspected of causing the crash was on the streets, to begin with. That has become a central issue in the case after it was revealed he had violated the terms of his GPS monitoring more than 50 times.

In the statement, Gardner went on to say her office asked multiple times for a judge to deny Riley's bond, but the requests were denied. One of the dates the statement mentions is January 2023.

That goes against a Tuesday statement from the 22nd Judicial Circuit, which said "the prosecutor, to date, has never filed a motion to revoke Riley's bond in response to any of the 51 violations."

According to online court records, Riley's bond was allowed house arrest on Jan. 17, 2023. The entry says the bond was set by Judge David Roither, but does not say if it was a denial of a request to deny bond by the prosecutor's office.

Gardner's office dropped armed robbery charges against Riley last summer. Court records say the prosecutor's office wasn't ready to proceed at the time. 

In a statement to 5 On Your Side's I-Team, Gardner's office initially claimed the victim in that armed robbery was dead, and that’s why prosecutors were not ready to go to trial against his alleged attacker.

However, the father of that armed robbery victim told the I-Team's Christine Byers that his son is still alive, and they tried to push to see Riley imprisoned. The Circuit Attorney’s Office's chief warrant officer, Chris Hinckley, said the victim was entered into “the system” as deceased, and that he didn’t know how the mistake happened.

The statement also lists efforts to deny Riley's bond before the case was dropped in 2022, but because the case was dropped, it's no longer publicly accessible in online court documents.

The statement comes as Gardner faces calls for her resignation due to her handling of the case.

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey announced his office would begin immediate removal proceedings unless she resigns by noon on Thursday.

You can read Gardner's full statement below:

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