Gabe Gore’s office receives criticism for pushing back murder trial

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 6:20 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - In the case of Brandon Scott’s murder, former St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner was accused of mishandling it, even prompting a judge to threaten to hold Gardner in contempt. When Gabe Gore took over the office, Scott’s family was hoping to see change. They walked into court expecting a trial and instead learned it was pushed back.

“I was just devastated that this continues to keep happening,” said Lana Morris, Brandon Scott’s mother.

It’s been two years since her son’s murder, and the case against his accused killers has once again been delayed.

“My son was a loving caring, person, he helped everybody,” Morris said.

In September 2021, 29-year-old Scott was killed while driving in downtown St. Louis. His family calls him a victim of road rage.

“On his way home he was trying to get on the highway and he accidentally made a wrong turn and was trying to bust a U-turn to get on the highway,” said April Scott, Brandon’s sister.

Investigators claim Jonathan Jones and Mark Perry shot at Scott’s car dozens of times, causing him to crash near the Arch grounds. Jones was again supposed to go to trial in August. Prosecutors at CA Gabe Gore’s Office asked the judge for more time. Their request was denied.

Days later, prosecutors dismissed the charges against Jones and Perry, but immediately refiled them. Embattled former circuit attorney Kim Gardner was criticized for constantly dismissing and refiling cases as a way to buy time. First Alert 4 Investigates has been reaching out to Gore’s office for answers in this case.

“Mr. Gore has had to put the pieces back together on a lot of cases,” said Dr. Walker, St. Louis University Law Professor.

Dr. Anders Walker, a law professor at SLU, questions the condition cases were left in from the Gardner Administration.

“There may have been all kinds of stuff that wasn’t finished, witnesses, evidence all of that has to be revisited,” Dr. Anders Walker said. When asked if it’s common practice to dismiss cases as a way of buying time, Dr. Walker notes it isn’t uncommon; however, “everything about this office has been uncommon, I’m confident things are getting back on track.”

Scott’s family has their concerns. Since their charges were refiled, Jones and Perry are now facing second-degree murder, a lesser charge considering both were initially charged with first degree murder.

“If it happened to they family they’ll be doing everything under the sun that they and just seem like they do not care about the victim and the victims families and how they feel,” Morris said.

Scott’s family claims no one from the prosecutor’s office told them the trial would be pushed back. Right now, Jonathon Jones is being held without bond, and his co-defendant Mark Perry is out on bond. Jones’s lawyer has asked the judge to set a trial date claiming his rights are being violated.

Minutes ago, a CAO spokesperson told us the assigned prosecutor had a conflict with the date and stressed the case wasn’t refiled to buy time. She also said the office has been in regular contact with Scott’s fiance, and now knows to contact his mom. The spokeswoman said she cannot discuss why the charges were reduced from first-degree to second-degree murder because that would be ‘divulging work strategy.’