ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- A mother of a murder victim is speaking out, saying St. Louis prosecutor Kim Gardner should resign over the handling of her son’s case.
“She is absolutely in my mind, incompetent and a criminal,” said Dr. Shirley Washington-Cobb, the mother of Dwight Washington. Washington-Cobb is angry and appalled by the actions of the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office.
At-large warrants have been issued a murder suspect who was released after the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office failed to show up at hearings.
“It was handled in a callous, uncaring, throw away case. Well, my son was not a throw away,” she said.
In February 2020, her son, Dwight Washington, was hit, then while on the ground, hit two more times. Sources said the injuries included fractured skull in the back of the head, and broken jaw and eye socket. He died from his injuries.
Jarmond Johnson was arrested and charged with second degree murder. He does have a criminal history and sources tell News 4 he was also one of the instigators of riots inside the City Justice Center and has since been charged for property damage at the jail.
Washington-Cobb says she called the Circuit Attorney’s Office to check on her son's case and learned the office was accepting a plea deal: involuntary manslaughter and an eight-year sentence, which in Missouri, could actually mean much less time behind bars.
“What about his background, what about his history, will he get out and do something like this again? Because this is a suffering that is indescribable," she said. She says the assistant prosecutor, who was only hired last month, was disrespectful to her.
“He has his hands inside a snack bag, as he’s talking to me. I am hearing the noise from the bag, he sounds like he is most disinterested,” she said.
Washington-Cobb's calls and emails to Kim Gardner, she says, were never returned until she emailed the judge on the case instead. Finally, in a meeting over the phone, she says no one from the prosecutor’s office referred to her son by name.
“The Chief Warrant Office says ‘it’s not about your emotion, it’s not about your feelings. We cannot prove that your son was murdered,’” she said.
Instead, she says she felt bullied and threatened to just accept the deal.
“Just so they can quickly get over my son's case and get on to something else," Washington-Cobb said. "Well my heart won't quickly get over it, what Jarmond Johnson did to my son.”
News 4 tried reaching the prosecutor assigned to the case, who said he could not comment on a pending case. The Circuit Attorney did not pick up our calls.
Johnson’s defense attorney told News 4 the plea deal had been negotiated months ago, saying second degree murder did not fit the crime, in part, because no weapon was used.
“If he kills someone else, I hope that Kim Gardner will know she is responsible,” said Washington-Cobb, who called on Gardner to resign. “As a black person, we need those who can stand up for us,"
“She would be putting a monster back on the streets and I don't think she has lost one night of sleep for what she has done, yes, fire her,” she said.
A spokesperson for the Circuit Attorney’s Office said they would not comment on pending cases. The plea deal was rejected Monday by Judge Rex Burlison Monday. He sentenced Johnson to the maximum of 10 years, saying his hands were tied by what the prosecution charged Johnson with. Johnson could serve less than that. Washington-Cobb spoke emotionally to the court Monday, saying that what Johnson did was murder and not involuntary manslaughter.