Chs. Mayor Says Time to Move on in Gardner Case

By: Anna Baxter, Amanda Barren Email
By: Anna Baxter, Amanda Barren Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- When it comes to a case involving the children of State Supreme Court Justice Margaret Workman, the mayor of Charleston says "it's time to move on."

Mayor Danny Jones sat down with Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney’s Chief of Staff Chuck Miller, along with others to discuss the charges that were recently dropped against Edward "Teddy" Gardner.

After Wednesday's meeting, Mayor Jones released a statement saying, during the meeting, both sides learned a lot about the case, but they've done all he can do with the case.

"We had a very frank discussion and completely candid exchange of views about the Gardner case. Good points were made, and I think both sides learned a lot. I know I did," Jones writes in a statement.

The prosecutor's office dropped the charges when the victim told them she fell unconscious and was talking out of her head when she said her brother, Gardner, kicked her repeatedly in the head.

A few days later Mayor Jones called for a special prosecutor to take a closer look at a case handled by the Charleston Police Department.

At the time, Jones said there needed to be a reconsideration to find out exactly what happened. However, Miller didn't agree because the evidence is consistent with the fact that the victim fell back and hit her head.

“In the final analysis, it is the prosecutor’s office, which makes the final decision whether to prosecute a case or not, and the City accepts that. I am thankful to Chuck and Steve for their time, and I recognize that they have the jurisdiction in this and every criminal case. I have known Chuck Miller for 37 years, and would do nothing to impugn his integrity," Jones said.

Gardner was originally charged with malicious wounding.

The incident happened Aug. 5.

According to the police report, given to 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.

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.

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

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