In a recent development, Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has been held in “indirect criminal contempt” by a judge after she failed to appear at a trial and hearing in an armed robbery case. According to reports, Judge Michael Noble has expressed his frustration with Gardner’s conduct, stating that her office “appears to be a rudderless ship of chaos.” Assistant Circuit Attorney Chris Desilets has also been held in contempt along with Gardner.
The judge’s decision comes after Gardner failed to comply with a court order to appear at the trial and hearing in the armed robbery case. Judge Noble has appointed a special prosecutor to oversee the contempt case against Gardner and Desilets. The judge has criticized their conduct and called it “disdain and disrespect for the judicial process.”
You may remember Gardner as the prosecutor that went after Mark and Patricia McCloskey. The left-wing prosecutor was later dismissed from the McCloskey case after it was learned she was fundraising off the case while it was in court.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson (R) pardoned the McCloskeys August 2021.
It is important to note that any attorney’s violation of a court’s order constitutes intentional disobedience and shows a clear intent to disregard the power and authority of the judicial system process. Gardner’s failure to show up at the trial and hearing is a serious offense, as it undermines the integrity of the judicial process and casts doubt on the fairness of the legal system.
The case surrounds a shooting in which an 11 year old girl was shot after Steven Linell Vincent Jr., 26 allegedly fired several shots into the residence.
Steven Linell Vincent Jr., 26, is accused of firing multiple gunshots at a residential building along North Garrison Avenue in the Jeff-Vander-Lou Neighborhood.
Bullets went through the girl’s bedroom wall, and she was shot in the arm, according to a probable cause statement. Vincent has been charged with first-degree assault and multiple counts of armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon.
Vincent’s defense attorney also asked the judge to dismiss the case for failure to prosecute, a motion the court denied until verification of Desilet’s alleged medical issues, Noble said.
Vincent’s mother, Cassandra Hopkins, attended Thursday’s hearing. She told 5 On Your Side her son has been waiting for three years to prove his innocence.
“We keep coming to court and the prosecuting attorney is not here,” Hopkins said.
She said she worked at a Popeye’s Chicken for 14 years and if she ever didn’t show up for work, she would be fired. She believes Gardner should be fired, too.
The judge also grilled Desilets and Huq about whether anyone from Gardner’s office had notified the victims in the case about Thursday’s hearings or any of the developments in the case.
Desilets said it had “been a while” since he talked to the victims and Huq said he didn’t know the answer to the judge’s question.
There are also reports that prosecutors are leaving the office in droves because of Garner’s radical leadership.
Several departures from the office have left only 2 prosecutors to handle 470 felony cases.