Criminal Justice

Jennifer Tidball and Joanie Rogers

Lawmakers seethe at Missouri agency over failure to report missing foster kids

BY: - October 5, 2021

Exasperated lawmakers slammed leaders of the Missouri Department of Social Services on Tuesday, accusing them of passing off blame for a federal review that found the state fails to adequately report missing foster children. Tuesday’s hearing of the House Children and Families Committee was spurred by a report issued last week by the U.S Department […]

St. Louis asks appeals court to force protestor to pay attorney fees for suing police

BY: and - October 5, 2021

An attorney for the city of St. Louis argued in court Tuesday that a woman who sued a police officer for excessive force must pay $57,000 in attorneys fees the city spent on the case. Kristine “Kris” Hendrix filed a lawsuit in 2017 claiming that two St. Louis officers used excessive force, tasing her repeatedly […]

Illegal gambling devices to be publicly destroyed in Platte City

BY: - October 5, 2021

Five video gaming machines declared to be illegal gambling devices in the only successful felony prosecution of a game vendor in Missouri will be destroyed Thursday in Platte City — and the public is invited to watch. The games, previously owned by Integrity Vending LLC, were seized in October 2018 by the Parkville Police Department […]

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson won’t block execution of intellectually disabled man

BY: - October 4, 2021

Rejecting calls from lawmakers, advocates and even the Pope for him to stop the execution of Ernest Johnson, an intellectually disabled man convicted of murder in 1995, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced Monday that the state will carry out the death sentence as planned at 6 p.m. Tuesday. “The state is prepared to deliver justice […]

Prosecutor asks Missouri governor to ignore AG’s demand to be removed from Agape case

BY: - September 30, 2021

The county prosecutor who Attorney General Eric Schmitt said “does not intend to seek justice” for victims of alleged abuse and neglect at a southwestern Missouri boarding school urged Gov. Mike Parson to not remove Schmitt’s office from assisting in the case. In a letter sent Tuesday, Cedar County Prosecuting Attorney Ty Gaither said that […]

Jennifer Tidball

Federal watchdog finds Missouri failed to adequately report, protect missing foster kids

BY: - September 30, 2021

A federal watchdog found that Missouri failed to sufficiently reduce children’s risk of going missing from the foster care system and frequently failed to notify local and federal authorities they were missing. A report by the U.S Department of Health Human Services Office of Inspector General issued Thursday found that the Department of Social Services’ […]

St. Louis fights to force protestor to pay thousands in attorney fees for suing police

BY: - September 30, 2021

Around midnight in May 2015, Kristine “Kris” Hendrix was walking to her car after a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown St. Louis. As a mother of three Black boys and an elected school board member, Hendrix says she was moved to march in the street alongside dozens of others to speak out against the […]

Missouri Auditor files lawsuit against state board over fallout from Hawley probe

BY: - September 29, 2021

Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the State Board of Accountancy alleging it is threatening discipline against auditor’s office staff stemming from an investigation of Josh Hawley’s time as attorney general. Galloway, a Democrat, argues that the board is misapplying a state statute in a way that could bar the auditor’s office from publicly […]

Prosecutor files felony charges against five Agape staffers accused of abuse

BY: - September 28, 2021

Cedar County Prosecuting Attorney Ty Gaither announced Tuesday that five staffers members of Agape Boarding School will be charged with a combined 13 counts of third-degree felony assault — a fraction of what Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt recommended. In March, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson directed the attorney general’s office to assist Gaither in an investigation […]

Missouri agency ordered to pay almost $200,000 for Sunshine Law violations

BY: - September 27, 2021

More than 10 years ago, a Cole County judge decided that “knowing” violations of the Missouri Sunshine Law by a state agency should be punished by awarding fees to the attorneys who prosecuted the violations. Last week — two judges and two state attorneys general later — Circuit Judge Cotton Walker finally ordered the Missouri […]

Missouri AG wants off Agape abuse case, says prosecutor doesn’t ‘intend to seek justice’

BY: - September 24, 2021

In a sign of frustration with a county prosecutor’s decision to pursue less than a quarter of recommended charges against a boarding school accused of abuse, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has formally requested that the governor remove his office from the case. In a letter sent Thursday, Schmitt said that Cedar County Prosecuting Attorney […]

Missouri lawmakers bucked national trend by establishing police ‘bill of rights’

BY: and - September 20, 2021

On the final day of the 2021 legislative session in May, Missouri lawmakers passed a “law enforcement bill of rights” that gives officers special legal protections and closes files to police misconduct. When Gov. Mike Parson signed it into law in July, the bill of rights portion was largely overshadowed in press coverage by other […]