Gardner: Not enough evidence for charges in 7-year-old's death despite confession

The circuit attorney says Malik Ross's testimony doesn't match other evidence.

Alex Degman
August 29, 2019 - 7:09 pm
Vigil for Xavier Usanga

KMOX/Michael Calhoun

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) -- It was a brief sigh of relief at the time -- a person of interest was arrested in the shooting death of 7-year-old Xavier Usanga.

But the St. Louis Circuit Attorney isn't filing charges.

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"Justice does not mean charging someone with insufficient evidence, charging someone to alleviate public pressure, or taking one narrative or one piece of evidence and making broad assumptions about the facts of any case," Kimberly Gardner said in a statement posted to her Twitter page.

"Based upon the current evidence and Missouri law, we are unable to determine who is legally responsible for the death of Xavier."

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Malik Ross is being held in federal custody on an unrelated matter, he allegedly stole tens of thousands of dollars from an armored truck he was driving and never returned to work. Gardner says the "alleged confession," as she calls it, doesn't match evidence from the scene or eyewitness testimony. She wants a "significant amount" of followup from SLMPD to clarify facts and corroborate testimony.

Gardner is again asking for the public to help.

"Those of you who know something, we need your help and we need it now," she said.

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