ST. LOUIS — Daniel Riley was in court ready to go to trial for an armed robbery seven months before police say he caused a crash that caused a volleyball player to lose both of her legs Saturday.
His alleged victim was there. So were the witnesses. And so was the defense.
But St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s Office wasn’t ready even though the robbery happened in 2020, according to court documents obtained by the I-Team.
So, Gardner’s staff dismissed the charges and refiled them the same day.
That was July 18 of last year. Riley had been on house arrest with a GPS bracelet up until that point and was supposed to remain that way until his next day in court.
The I-Team obtained records showing Riley violated the terms of his GPS monitoring system more than 40 times after July 18, the most recent of which happened Feb. 13.
Five days later, police say he struck a car that pinned Janae Edmondson of Smyrna, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville, between another car.
Edmondson was in town for a volleyball tournament walking to her hotel in downtown St. Louis when police say Riley was going 20 mph over the speed limit. Police say he didn’t try to brake before the crash.
Riley’s GPS monitoring violations included repeated dead GPS battery notifications as well as violating the boundaries, according to court records.
Gardner’s office never filed a motion with the court to revoke his bond because of those violations.
A spokesman for the circuit attorney's office said the court was aware of Riley’s violations and the decision to keep him out on bond was the judge’s decision.
CAO spokesman also said the victim in Riley’s armed robbery case died, but the judge planned to move ahead with the trial in July 2022. The state then nolled the case and refiled the charges to pursue the case without the victim.
Riley's GPS monitoring violations began before the July 18 trial date, according to records obtained by the I-Team.
In April 2022, Judge Bryan Hettenbach had a hearing to consider multiple GPS monitoring violations. At that point, Riley had violated the terms of his bond more than 25 times, according to records obtained by the I-Team.
Following that hearing, Hettenbach ordered Riley be kept on house arrest with his GPS monitor without any changes. Records obtained by the I-Team show Riley violated it more than a dozen times before his July 18 trial date.
Armed robbery charges
Court records show in August 2020, Riley set up a meeting with a man he knew from social media to buy a gun for his older brother. Riley gave the man an address in the 4100 block of Finney Avenue, and, once the victim arrived, there were two other men waiting with Riley, according to the documents.
Riley got into the driver’s side rear seat and another person sat in the rear passenger seat, pointed a rifle at the victim and ordered him to give the gun to Riley, according to court documents.
Once Riley took the gun, all three men got out of the car and ran, according to the court documents.
In September 2020, Gardner’s office charged Riley with armed criminal action and first-degree robbery.
Nearly two years later, the case was ready to go to trial.
On July 18, Judge Bryan Hettenbach wrote: “Witnesses and victim timely appear. Defense ready. State announces ‘not ready.’”
Assistant Circuit Attorney Natalia Ogurkiewicz dismissed the charges that day and refiled them, according to court documents.
The grand jury got the case Jan. 17 of this year and returned an indictment against him for the armed robbery.
Court records show Riley violated the GPS monitoring system nine more times after he was indicted, including this past Saturday when the teenager was struck.
Now, he has been charged with second-degree assault, driving without a valid license and multiple other crimes related to the crash.
Riley is now in jail, being held without bail.