ST. LOUIS – Failed by the justice system, a mother in anguish speaks out for the first time about the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office.

Johnetta Doss’ daughter was murdered in St. Louis right before graduating from Parkway West High School. Doss initially declined to speak when the circuit attorney’s office first dropped her daughter’s case in March.

She’s now speaking out as she says she’s learned how the prosecutor’s office failures have possibly blown the chance of catching her daughter’s killer.

Doss said she finds the strength to speak out, through her daughter Carieal. She wears her picture daily.

“I said that I was going to purchase a machine for these shirts, because I wear them every day,” she said.

Carieal was robbed and shot in the head on a Franklin Avenue sidewalk in north St. Louis in April 2020, not far from where she lived. Doss said the case was quickly solved, with police handing over evidence to the circuit attorney’s office in June 2020. But she found out years later that evidence was not disclosed to the defense.

“I don’t know if it got lost, I don’t know if they didn’t feel it was important, but they never turned it over during the time,” she said.

FOX 2 was in the courtroom when case was dismissed this past March. The dismissal came after the circuit attorney’s office was called out by the suspect’s defense counselor.

“It’s not a mistake,” Doss said. “At this point, this is pure negligence.”

The defendant’s attorney, W. David Mueller, told FOX 2 after that hearing, “There’s only two ways that can happen. One is gross negligence; it’s willful denial of my client’s constitutional rights.”

Doss said she wants to get back in court.

“Let’s refile this. Let’s get to the bottom of this,” she said.

Except she said no one from the circuit attorney’s office will answer her. The former defendant, Levi Henning, faces robbery charges in a separate incident, but Doss questions how that case is going. Doss said only one prosecutor in the office ever communicated with her, an attorney who took over after the mishandling of evidence but has since resigned. Now, she said no one picks up or returns her calls.

“The only thing I can do at this point is hope,” she said. “I can’t go down there and make them do it. We all know the district attorney’s office has absolute immunity. What can I do?”

So, she holds onto memories, like her daughter’s voice, that her surviving daughter had placed into a bear for her to hold.

“For me to have the strength, I have to press this bear to hear her voice. Just to hear her say that she loves me,” she said.

The circuit attorney’s office did not respond to our request for comment.

Meanwhile, Henning has a May 18 court date for his robbery case, which we’ll attend to see how that case is proceeding.