ST. LOUIS – FOX 2 found a robbery victim alive who the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office claimed was dead. The false claim is tied to the frightening crash that cost a teenage girl her legs.
The victim’s family was already distressed by the false claim about the victim’s death, which was exacerbated by the fact that the claim was linked to a devastating crash that changed a young girl’s life.
“For her to lose both legs and for her to be in the condition she’s in, I feel so sorry for her and her family,” said Jim Dandridge. “I truly feel that us as St. Louisans let the whole family down.”
He is talking about Saturday’s crash that cost 17-year-old Janae Edmondson her legs. She was walking with her family on St. Charles Street in downtown St. Louis after a volleyball tournament. Suddenly, a robbery suspect on house arrest caused a life-changing crash.
“This never should have happened. This guy should’ve been incarcerated,” Dandridge said. “He should never have even been in this car for that to happen.”
He knows because he says his son was robbed by the same man three years ago. Crash suspect Daniel Riley was charged in a 2020 robbery. The courts say he has since violated house arrest 51 times with no consequence. Prosecutors delayed his trial, which was scheduled for last July. This week, the Circuit Attorney’s Office said the trial was delayed because the victim died. That is Dandridge’s son.
“Obviously, he’s alive. He just left to go to work. He’s a young kid. He’s 20 years old,” Dandridge said. “He does all kinds of stuff. He’s perfectly healthy – healthy as a 20-year-old boy can be.”
Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner did not answer FOX 2’s requests for an interview, but FOX 2’s Elliott Davis talked with the office’s chief trial assistant about the mistake.
“There had been a death certificate with a name that was similar that had been electronically attached to that file from another defendant’s case that had an ancillary case to it,” said Marvin Teer Jr.
Dandridge said he does not get it.
“If you’re going to prosecute someone and put them in prison, you think they’re going to know whose name is who,” he said. “Who’s the victim and who the suspects are and all kinds of stuff. I’m in disbelief; how could you get that wrong.”
Despite the tremendous stress over this situation and questions about whether the prosecutor’s office can appropriately handle Dandridge’s son’s case, he says he will be at every hearing as long as he is notified. Not only does he say he was not told about the key court hearing, but he also says he was never told that suspect Riley had ever violated his house arrest. Dandridge says not once in the 51 violations the court reports.