ST. LOUIS —
Now that St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has filed a lawsuit against the City of St. Louis and SLMPD, many families are worried that their loved ones' cases will remain unsolved.
One of those cases is the death of Calvin Hayes. He was found dead in an abandoned building in South City last summer. 5 On Your Side's Chris Davis spoke exclusively with Calvin's sister who is still waiting for justice.
Polernicser Hayes still remembers the last day she ever saw her brother Calvin alive, and when a phone call forever changed her life.
"Your brother has been murdered, and I was like 'What brother? Who’s brother? What are you talking about?" recalls Hayes.
Investigators told Polernicser that they believe her brother was meeting up with a woman in South City and that she killed him to be able to cash his social security check.
"The detectives called me, and they said we caught your brother’s murderer," Hayes said.
The detective told Hayes the evidence showed the woman cashed his check. Investigators even found the murder weapon on her when they made the arrest last month.
Then four days later, she was released.
"They had to let her go and I was like, why would you let this lady go? She confessed to his murder," said Hayes.
So, why was the suspect released?
Hayes still doesn't know. The office has never called her back.
5 On Your Side reached out to a spokesperson for the Circuit Attorney, who sent us this statement:
"Ms. Hayes can be assured the Circuit Attorney will continue to prosecute cases where there is sufficient evidence to effectively prosecute regardless of the Circuit Attorney legal efforts to create a fair and unbiased criminal justice system for all. In the case involving the loss of her brother, there is further investigation required for the arrest warrant application that was applied for on December 12, 2019."
"If I don’t get justice for my brother, I don’t know what I’ll do," Hayes told us.
Now that the Circuit Attorney is suing the city and police department, Hayes is worried Calvin's case will only be pushed further to the back burner.
"Y’all better do something. Y’all cannot let these criminals go about their ways in the streets," Hayes said.
So how will the lawsuit impact Gardner's ability to try cases?
According to SLU Professor Anders Walker, Gardner has what's called "plenary power" over prosecutions. He doesn't believe the lawsuit will be a conflict of interest, but it certainly won't help an already strained relationship between police and their prosecutor.
Walker believes the lawsuit could be dismissed by a judge, but if it goes to trial, it could take a really long time to reach a solution.