Gardner threatened again with contempt of court after CAO fails to show for shooting trial

Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 4:44 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- There’s a new case against St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner after her office failed to show up for a trial for the second time this month.

The case involved the shooting of an 11-year-old girl. Steven Linell Vincent Jr., 28, was charged in 2021 with four counts each of armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon after a gunshot went through the 11-year-old’s bedroom window and hit her in the arm. The incident happened in the 1300 block of Garrison Avenue in October 2020.

The judge in the case said an attorney in Gardner’s office, Chris Desilets, did not show up for trial on April 10 or a counsel status hearing on Monday. According to new court filings, another employee of the Circuit Attorney’s Office told the court that he had a knee injury and was on the way to the doctor.

Judge Michael Noble threatened Gardner with contempt of court. He set a hearing for Gardner on Thursday to explain why she shouldn’t be held in contempt.

Court filings state that Desilets had until Monday morning to provide proof of the medical issue and has not done so.

Another judge decided to not hold Gardner in contempt of court after her office failed to show up for a murder trial on April 17. Gardner was not at the hearing Monday on whether she should face punishment, but her lawyers were there.

The prosecutor assigned to the murder case was on sick leave. No one else from the office showed up, and the judge threatened her with contempt of court. The judge decided Monday that there wasn’t enough evidence to show the failure to appear was willful but acknowledged prosecutors need a better way of tracking cases.