News 4 Investigates: Man who caused downtown crash never had bond revoked despite over 100 violations

Defense attorney that represented Riley said this isn’t a case that slipped through the cracks
On Feb. 18 Daniel Riley, 21, is accused of running a yield sign downtown and causing an accident that resulted in 17-year-old Janae Edmondson losing her legs.
Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 10:24 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - On Feb. 18 Daniel Riley, 21, is accused of running a yield sign downtown and causing an accident that resulted in 17-year-old Janae Edmondson, visiting from Tennesee, losing both of her legs.

In the aftermath of the accident, it was revealed that Riley did not have a driver’s license and was supposed to be on house arrest. Further looking into Riley’s background by News 4 Investigates uncovered sealed court information that showed Riley violated bond over 100 times and was never re-arrested.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Terrence Niehoff formerly represented Riley and said he doesn’t think this is a case of some slipping through the cracks.

According to Niehoff, Riley was immediately given bond, and none of his bond violations were “very serious.”

Riley was first arrested in 2020, accused of an armed robbery. Niehoff described it as a gun sale gone bad. He said Riley didn’t have a criminal record and got bond.

Records obtained by News 4 Investigates show a St. Louis Circuit Court judge put Riley on house arrest with GPS tracking.

Niehoff said Riley was allowed to leave home to go to work.

“Sometimes he would stop at a store, which you’re not supposed to do, and grab a pack of cigarettes or get some food or something,” Niehoff said. “He’d get a violation for that. He had all kinds of minor violations.”

He claims many violations were because Riley didn’t charge the tracker.

“He frequently had to work overtime,” Niehoff said. “And so he couldn’t get back to home to charge it. You can’t just, you can’t just charge it on the run. You got to be sitting someplace stationary and plug it in.”

According to court records, Riley’s bond was reviewed by at least four judges since 2020. None revoked it, despite growing violations.

Prosecutors can file a motion to review bond. We asked the Circuit Attorney’s Office why they never did.

“It’s ultimately up to the court to make that distinction and that decision,” Marvin Teer Jr., Chief Trial Assistant with the Circuit Attorney’s Office said. “And in this case, I know, at least on three occasions, I’m certain of that that the court was asked to make a decision to revoke his bond.”

Teer is a former judge and now one of the leaders at the circuit attorney’s office he said bond decisions are on judges and believes this doesn’t fall on Kim Gardner’s office.

“We oppose any and all violent felonies, regardless of whether it’s a first offense or multiple offenses, we never agreed to and always oppose any kind of release,” Teer said. “But in this new world, I guess the court is taking it upon themselves to look to alternatives incarceration.”

Riley’s armed robbery case was set for trial last July but had to be dropped and refiled that same day. There have been questions if prosecutors dropped the ball there. Niehoff said it’s because they were set to take a plea to avoid trial, but he decided that day not to take it.

He also said prosecutors have a history of not re-filing cases, so they decided to take their chances.