ST. LOUIS – While some criminal cases in the St. Louis justice system continue to see delays, not all are being met with the same tension and despair as in recent years.
One delayed case was scheduled to proceed Monday as a trial. But unlike past delays, prosecutors from the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office showed up this time.
Victim Neekia Danfort said the circuit attorney’s office is also finally talking to her.
“I feel good now,” Danfort said as she walked out of the courthouse with her oldest son Justin.
“We actually had some people to call out to reach out to us and let us know, ‘Hey, I’m going to be your new attorney,’ so the communication got a lot better the communication got a lot better.”
Danfort’s son, Isaiah, was killed in January 2022 in the Carondelet neighborhood by a suspect with an AR-style rifle. He was 25.
The accused shooter, Quinton Roberts, was supposed to go to trial in April, but no prosecutor showed up.
“It’s hard to represent him…when you really don’t have that support from the circuit attorney’s office,” Danfort said.
This time, a prosecutor did show – newly transferred from the special victim’s unit, and assisted by special assistant prosecutor, Rufus Tate.
“With the new people that we have, they represented us very well today,” Danfort said.
The judge granted a continuance for the new prosecutors to prepare as he acknowledged a circuit attorney’s office in flux.
In another courtroom, Judge Michael Noble commented on the changes, saying, “The court will likely be more liberal with continuances” during the transition to a new circuit attorney.
“The office’s behavior beforehand is one thing,” Noble said. “Now there’s an opportunity for the new guy to put the house in order.”
When Gabe Gore was announced Thursday as the new circuit attorney, he said it will be another week before he even learns the full extent of what he’s facing.
“So, I’ve got a lot of work to do, and I’m eager to have those conversations and get to work,” he said.
Danfort said she stays grounded thinking about a higher authority.
“My faith comes from the person up above,” she said. “That’s my lawyer and that’s my judge, and so, regardless of what they might do, my faith is strong enough to know that we’re going to get justice served.”