UPDATE: Charges Dropped Against Son of W.Va. Supreme Court Justice Accused of Beating Sister

By: Amanda Barren, Dale Johnson, WSAZ News Staff Email
By: Amanda Barren, Dale Johnson, WSAZ News Staff Email
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UPDATE 8/21/14 @ 12:15 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Charges against Edward Gardner, the son of West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Margaret Workman, have been dropped.

Gardner was accused of malicious wounding in a case that involved his sister Lindsey Gardner.

The incident happened Aug. 5. Gardner told witnesses at the scene of the incident that night that her brother kicked her in the head three times.

According to the police report, given to WSAZ.com as requested through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Lindsey didn't talk to police while she was at the hospital. She also didn't give a statement at the scene. It wasn't until Aug. 15 that she told investigators during an interview at her mother's house that she was "talking out of her head."

Witnesses at the scene on Aug. 5 say that Lindsey eventually "came-to" and said that she was kicked in the head three times by her brother and that he was trying to kill her.

One witness statement says that a woman saw a man straddling Gardner trying to lift her from the waist and/or chest. The witness account states that "the person dropped the other victim and ran to the other car and drove off."

Another witness said she "heard a woman in the car in front of me asking if someone would help put her daughter in the car." She went on to say that the victim, Lindsey, was thrown to the ground by her brother and kicked three times.

But prosecutors contend the injury on her head was consistent with a fall where she hit the back of her head.

"We looked at the medical records and the photographs of her injuries and there was nothing consistent with being kicked," explained Kanawha County Assistant Prosecutor and Chief-of-Staff Chuck Miller.

However, in the police report, one officer noted they noticed a large brownish/red stain on the bottom of Edward Gardner's shoe. It was taken for DNA evidence.

According to the police report, Gardner would not allow officers to take any pictures of her injuries. It wasn't until Assistant Prosecutor Chuck Miller went to the hospital and talked to Gardner's mother Margaret Workman that they were able to get the photos.

Miller told investigators with the Charleston Police Department that he might be able to help because he had a good relationship with Workman.

"Although there were witnesses at the scene that did not see the injury to this young woman but they heard her make statements," Miller explained.

According to Miller, there was a witness who saw the entire incident. That witness said that Edward only pushed back when Lindsey came at him during the argument.

That witness interview was not released in the file given to WSAZ.com through the FOIA request because it was a part of the defense's evidence gathering, which is not public record.

Jesse Forbes, Edward Gardner's lawyer, says that the dropping of the charge against his client is consistent with what he said all along.

"I think I told anyone who would listen at the beginning of this case that the truth would come out and it would show that Mr. Garner was innocent," Forbes said in an interview at his office Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster told WSAZ.com that, despite what the prosecutor's office says, he is standing by the original report -- one that charges Gardner with malicious wounding.

"We stand on the police report and refer all further questions to the Kanawha County Prosecutor's Office," Webster said.

According to the report, 27-year-old Edward Gardner's occupation is listed as the Marshall University School of Medicine.

To see the full police incident report, click on the attachment above.

UPDATE 8/20/14 @ 10:40 a.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Charges have been dropped against the son of West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Justice Margaret Workman.

Edward Gardner, 27, was arrested earlier this month after reports that he kicked his sister Lindsey three times in the head and body and left her in a ditch.

According to a press release sent out Wednesday from the Kanawha County Prosecutor's Office, malicious wounding charges were dropped against Edward Gardner.

Charles Miller, Chief of Staff at the Prosecutor's Office, says that contrary to initial reports, Lindsey Gardner was not found beaten in a roadside ditch.

According to the release, there was a family disagreement, and Lindsey attempted "to strike her brother and being pushed away, Ms. Gardner stumbled and fell striking her head on pavement."

In the release, they say Lindsey suffered a laceration to the back of her head in the fall and that she lost consciousness.

The Prosecutor's Office says a review of medical records support the conclusion.

They say there was no other evidence of any injury consistent with her being kicked.

Detectives say Lindsey told them it was an unfortunate accident.

The Prosecutor's Office also says that Lindsey was not abandoned. They say that the incident happened close to her mother's home, and that her mother, Margaret Workman, arrived at the scene immediately, and remained with her daughter until she was taken to the hospital.

UPDATE 8/6/14 @ 6:30 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man was arrested and charged with beating his sister and leaving her in a ditch Tuesday night.

According to the criminal complaint, Edward Gardner, 27, of Huntington, kicked Lindsay Gardner three times in the head and body.

Charleston Police say she was found in a ditch along Chesterfield Avenue in Kanawha City about 10 p.m. Tuesday.

"Lindsay Gardner was found on the side of the road with her and face saturated in blood," said Lt. Steve Cooper with the Charleston Police Department. "Some passerbys were attempting to render aide to her. They called 911, and paramedics then came."

Lindsay was transported to CAMC General where she was diagnosed with a concussion, a cut on her scalp, and a possible skull fracture. As of Wednesday evening Lindsay is in the ICU in serious condition.

Edward was arrested Wednesday morning, feet away from the police department.

"One of our detectives actually saw him at magistrate court," Lt. Cooper says. "I believe he may have been trying to turn himself in over there, but one of our detectives saw him and took him into custody."

Edwards was bonded out shortly after being arraigned, by his attorney Jesse Forbes, who spoke on Edward's behalf.

"This is a serious matter, and it's a very unfortunate matter for the entire family," Forbes says. "But we believe that its going to be shown that Mr. Gardner is innocent of what he's being accused of here."

Edward and Lindsay Gardner are the children of West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Justice Margaret Workman. WSAZ.com reached out to her for comment, but she has not returned our call.

According to a criminal complaint, Edward Gardner was arrested less than a month ago for driving under the influence and possession of marijuana.

In that complaint, the arresting officer says Edward became combative after giving him several chances to take a breath test and that he kept repeating that his mother is a Supreme Court Judge.

Edward Gardner's preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 15.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.

UPDATE 8/6/14 @ 11:45 a.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man has been arrested, charged with beating his sister, and leaving her in a ditch.

Charleston Police say residents found Lindsay Gardner in a ditch along Chesterfield Avenue in Kanawha City about 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Lt. Steve Cooper tells WSAZ.com that Lindsay's hair and face were covered with blood.

Lindsay was taken to CAMC General, where she is in the ICU as of Wednesday morning.

Her brother, Edward Gardner, 27, of Huntington, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding.

According to the criminal complaint, Edward kicked his sister in the head three times. Lt. Cooper tells WSAZ.com that preliminary medical reports show that Lindsay has a skull fracture and several lacerations.

Warrants were signed for Edward's arrest Tuesday night. He was picked up by an officer Wednesday, when he was seen in Kanawha County Magistrate Court, presumably to turn himself in, according to Cooper.

According to our media partner, WV Metro News, the Gardners are the children of West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Justice Margaret Workman.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.

ORIGINAL STORY 8/5/14 @ 10:12 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A woman was beaten and found in a ditch Tuesday night along Chesterfield Avenue in Kanawha City, Charleston Police say.

She was found just before 10 p.m. Tuesday.

The woman's condition is unknown at this time.

We have a crew headed to the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.

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