ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – The St. Louis Circuit Attorney`s office says they work diligently to put criminals behind bars but the lack of victim participation is making their job more difficult. Assistant Circuit Attorney Natalie Warner says when victims don't speak up perpetrators get lesser charges.
'We need those people victims and witnesses to participate in the process to go after those higher charges. It`s frustrating sometimes that the level of a felony that we can charge someone with changes depending on if we have witness and victim participation.’
Warner says a prime example is the case of 32- year- old James Nunley. He`s accused of shooting two men at the 4800 block of Goodfellow earlier this month. Police caught him and locked him up but the charges were lighter than expected.
'In this case I was not able to charge him with the assault on the two individuals Mr. Nunley was charged with two counts, one is unlawful possession of a fire arm and unlawful use of a concealed weapon.' said Warner
The lack of participation continues to plague cases. Its` an issue that has become more common with crimes in the city, but investigators had an option. Nunley allegedly shot two men one in the leg the other on his backside.
Mr. Nunley was there at a location and an altercation started and it could be seen on surveillance video. During the altercation Mr. Nunley pulled a semi-automatic weapon from his waistband and fired it several times.' she said
Nunley is charged with 2 felonies and because of prior offenses can face up to 22 years in prison. He`s being held at the St. Louis City justice center on a $30,000 cash only bond. Prosecutors are hoping that more people do their part to keep the bad guys in jail.