Kim Gardner blames lawyer on go away for office’s no-demonstrate in murder trial

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Circuit Legal professional Kimberly M. Gardner responded Friday to a judge’s threat to maintain her in contempt of court by blaming an attorney for not telling her office he had a demo slated to get started although he was on depart.

The submitting states prosecutor Alex Polta, who has been on accredited leave since early April, unsuccessful to warn Gardner’s business about a murder trial that was established to begin previous Monday.

No a person attended the initial day of demo in Polta’s put, and Judge Scott A. Millikan filed an order for Gardner’s office to show result in for why she should not be held in criminal contempt, arguing: “This carry out thwarts and defeats the authority of the Circuit Court docket of the Town of St. Louis.”

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Inspite of Gardner’s assert, the court sends weekly notices for future trials to judges, attorneys and the circuit attorney’s workplace, amongst other individuals. Monday’s trial was not incorporated in an previously variation of the recognize, but it was added to the most modern 1, despatched on April 12.

Gardner’s submitting states her chief warrant officer “did not anticipate the listing to be supplemented with new” filings for this past Monday.

The embattled prosecutor’s workplace has confronted many years of criticism for organizational dysfunction and understaffing. Scenarios have been on a regular basis dropped and refiled for the reason that prosecutors are not prepared for trial, and Missouri Legal professional Basic Andrew Bailey filed go well with in February to take out Gardner from office.

Final 7 days, a trial date was tentatively scheduled for late September in Bailey’s removing lawsuit.

A court docket hearing is set for Monday early morning on the contempt accusation.

In Gardner’s contempt response, submitted late Friday, she phone calls for Polta to go to Monday’s hearing. Because Gardner was not prosecuting the scenario herself, the submitting argues, she really should not be held in contempt of court.

She argues that “inaccurate and uncorrected statements” from Polta “were the main lead to of the CAO not well timed knowing this make a difference was established for trial on April 17 and not getting an legal professional (possibly Mr. Polta or somebody else) surface for or request to continue on that trial.”

Jonathon Jones, 18, was slated to confront trial on costs he fatally shot a gentleman in 2021 in close proximity to the Gateway Arch. The sufferer, 29-year-outdated Brandon Scott, was found useless inside of a vehicle on the ways leading to the Arch grounds, according to court docket documents.

Polta told the prosecutor’s business office he was having depart in early April, but it is unclear no matter if it was sick or holiday vacation time. He reported he had no trials or depositions coming up, in accordance to textual content messages amongst Gardner and Chris Hinckley, main warrant officer for the circuit attorney’s business office. The texts are incorporated in Gardner’s response.

Hinckley decided that Polta did have approaching trials, according to the submitting, and contacted him for clarification. Polta delivered facts about some of the scenarios but did not point out Jones’ trial. As much as the circuit attorney’s business realized, in accordance to the filing, that trial experienced been ongoing.

“No one particular appeared for trial,” the submitting reads, “because, with the doable exception of Mr. Polta, no a person in CAO was aware” that the trial was still scheduled for Monday. Had anyone acknowledged, it states, “they would have appeared, designated somebody else to show up, or otherwise taken techniques to deal with that demo placing in an ideal trend.”

Polta declined to comment Saturday afternoon. According to the submitting, he ideas to be at Monday’s contempt hearing.


Kimberly Gardner is the to start with Black St. Louis circuit legal professional. She was to start with elected in 2016. A quick glance at her job and controversies. Online video by Beth O’Malley



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