Mishandled evidence leads to murder case dismissal

ST. LOUIS – Defendant Levi Henning is no longer charged with the first-degree murder of former Parkway student Carieal Doss.

FOX 2 asked the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office on March 14 why the case is not in court records. We found out the reason Thursday when we showed up to court.

We originally reported on the murder behind a Baptist church in 2020. Doss was found shot in the head on a Franklin Avenue sidewalk in April of that year. The 18-year-old student was about to graduate from Parkway West High School. FOX 2 has now learned the murder charges against the accused were dropped after allegations the Circuit Attorney’s Office failed to turn over evidence.

Third teenage boy arrested in killing of Lake St. Louis girl

“There’s only two ways that can happen; one is gross negligence,” said W. David Mueller, Henning’s attorney. “It’s willful denial of my client’s constitutional rights.”

Mueller was in court with the intention of arguing his motion to dismiss until the case was dropped. In his earlier filings, he pointed out that the state failed to disclose evidence such as at least eight witnesses, a DNA report, the victim’s Facebook messages, and friend contacts.

“I’ve identified in my brief time on this case four alternative suspects,” Mueller said. “One where there’s a fair amount of evidence against them. Three others, I believe, had contact with the deceased shortly before her death. None have never even been interviewed.”

Mueller also alleged, “On April 8, 2022, the state finally supplemented discovery for the fourth time, providing the full DNA report… and 2356 pages of Facebook records that it had in its possession since June 9, 2020.”

He said the Circuit Attorney’s Office failures may have cost the state being able to solve this crime.

“The government had within their possession before this case was even filed,” Mueller said. “Information that the deceased was in contact with individuals five blocks from where she was found. Those individuals were never interviewed. I believe that if they were interviewed, they would have found a better timeline for what happened to the deceased that day and probably could have solved this case.”

FOX 2 reached out to Doss’s mother, who said that she does not want to talk about it yet.

Henning remains in custody, as he still faces robbery charges for a separate incident from 2018.

The Circuit Attorney’s Office now says they are looking into it to give us a possible response.

Category: General News