Last week, a judge sanctioned St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office for failing to provide evidence to the defense in a double murder case “in a timely fashion,” The Epoch Times reported.
Alex Heflin, 23, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder in January and was initially held without bond. But those charges were subsequently reduced to voluntary and involuntary manslaughter and he was released on bond. His April 17 trial date was then postponed until June 12.
Heflin’s lawyers file a motion for sanctions with St. Louis Judge Theresa Counts Burke accusing the prosecutor in the case of violating the rules of discovery. They alleged that Gardner’s office failed to turn over evidence to the defense, including DNA evidence and a recording of a 911 call.
Judge Burke ruled in favor of the defense, saying in her ruling that there had been “repeated delays” by Gardner’s office in obtaining and providing discovery to the defense. She said there was a “lack of diligence” on the part of the Circuit Attorney’s office to provide discovery to the defense “in a timely fashion.”
With Judge Burke’s order, the Circuit Attorney’s office was required to turn over its witness list and the DNA test results within 24 hours of her ruling.
Gardner, however, is blaming the delays on the St. Louis Police Department.
In response, the police union blasted Gardner’s office for misconduct and incompetence.
In a statement last week, the St. Louis Police Officers’ Association said Gardner’s office is once again failing “to accept responsibility” for mistakes that her office made in the case, choosing instead to blame officers from the St. Louis Police Department.
The union argued that the “repeated problems” in the Circuit Attorney’s office are due to its incompetence and not the “actions of police officers.” It said all of the evidence had been turned over to Gardner’s office “nearly a year” before trial.
The court’s sanction against Gardner’s office comes as the embattled Soros-backed prosecutor is fighting efforts by Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey to force her out of office for incompetence.