ST. LOUIS - The judge in the felony invasion of privacy case against Governor Eric Greitens rules that the case will go forward and will not be thrown out. In allowing the case to proceed, Judge Rex Burlison had some stiff words for the prosecution team.
The dramatic and high-stakes hearing went down this morning inside the Carnahan Courthouse. It was supposed to start at 9am this morning. But before anything happened in open court, all of the attorneys from both sides spent about 30 minutes behind closed doors in the Judge`s chambers talking about various issues. Then Judge Burlison came out and made his ruling that the case would proceed.
There was a great deal of anticipation going into the hearing about what Judge Burlison would do. After the closed-door meeting, the Judge came out and in open court scolded the prosecution team saying they had committed 'sanctionable violations' regarding how they handled evidence in turning it over to the defense.
Greitens' attorneys have accused prosecutors multiple times of misconduct, saying the lead investigator Don Tisaby withheld evidence and then lied under oath. Those same lawyers have also argued that Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner was complicit in the lies. After Judge Burlison talked about 'sanctionable violations,' he then said that he did not believe the actions of the prosecutors caused a 'fundamental unfairness' that could not be 'cured' so he allowed the case to go forward.
Part of the sanctions or 'cure' from the court against the prosecutors is that Greitens` lawyers will be to re-depose witnesses including Greitens` former mistress and Tisaby.
The prosecution could also face monetary penalties at the end of the case. Since the case is proceeding, the gag order is still in effect. As a result, Greitens attorneys didn`t say much leaving the courthouse.
A spokesperson for Circuit Attorney Gardner told us prosecutors still believe they have the evidence to get a conviction. Judge Burlison issued a warning to prosecutors saying if he finds more violations going forward then the issue of dismissing the case could come up again.
The invasion of privacy trial is set for May 14th in St. Louis, Mo.