Armed robbery suspect walks free after Circuit Attorney’s office mistakenly claims victim died

circuit attorney's office
circuit attorney's office
Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 9:06 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 24, 2023 at 11:39 AM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Another suspect in a 2020 armed robbery that involved Daniel Riley, who is accused of hitting a teen with his car, causing her legs to be amputated, had his case dismissed after prosecutors mistakenly thought the victim died.

In 2020, Elijah Graham was charged with a felony in connection with an armed robbery. Both he and Riley faced separate cases. Riley’s former defense attorney Terrence Niehoff told News 4 Investigates that it was a case of a gun swap gone bad.

Both men had been released on bond with GPS monitoring. News 4 Investigates obtained sealed court records showing Riley violated his bond more than 100 times.

Graham’s defense lawyer Raphael Morris claims that last week, the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office told him that the victim in the case died. Morris says he and Graham appeared in court on Tuesday for trial. A motion filed by Morris shows he asked to have the case dismissed because the, “victim is deceased.” The judge dismissed the case.

Morris says he has since learned the victim is alive. He tells News 4 that no one at the Circuit Attorney’s Office has reached out to tell him the victim is alive.

News 4 Investigates asked the Circuit Attorney’s Office what caused that mistake and if they plan to re-file the case. The office has not yet responded.

News 4 learned this is the second time the Circuit Attorney’s Office made a mistake over the victim being dead in the robbery case.

When Riley was arrested this weekend in connection to the accident that forever changed 17-year-old Janae Edmonson’s life, News 4 Investigates started looking into his record with the courts. News 4 learned that at the time of the crash, Riley was violating his bond in the robbery case.

Court records show that Riley was set for trial in the robbery case in July 2022 but the case was dismissed and re-filed the same day. Sources familiar with the case claimed the Circuit Attorney’s Office dropped and re-filed the case because the victim died and they were going to move forward without a victim.

Riley’s former defense lawyer, Niehoff told News 4 Investigates that Riley’s case was dropped and re-filed because they were set to accept a plea deal, but decided that day not to take it.

“It wasn’t anyone’s fault. It wasn’t that the prosecutor dropped the ball on this one. They’ve dropped the ball on many of them, believe me,” Niehoff said. “They showed up thinking it was going to be a plea. I pulled the rug out on it.”

Niehoff told News 4 the Circuit Attorney’s Office has a history of not re-filing cases and he was willing to walk away from the plea deal and take his chances.