Daniel Riley sentenced for causing crash that cost teenager her legs

ST. LOUIS – Daniel Riley, the St. Louis man who caused a February 2023 crash that cost Janae Edmondson her legs, has been sentenced.

Riley was found guilty on March 7 of second-degree assault, fourth-degree assault, armed criminal action, and operating a vehicle without a valid license. Jurors had recommended a sentence of nearly 19 years in prison.

St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Michael Noble agreed with the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Riley to 18 years and 9 months in state prison.

Prior to sentencing, the Edmondson family approached the judge’s bench to deliver a victim impact statement before the court. Janae wore prosthetic legs and used a cane to help her walk.

Janae’s mother, Francine, read the statement with Janae’s father, James, standing by in support of his wife and daughter.

Francine muddled her way through the letter, keeping her tears and emotions in check. She said Janae endured an unbelievable level of trauma the night of the crash and continues to cope with a great deal of pain.

“She was seconds from dying right there in front of us on the street,” Francine said. “Her legs were completely severed, and she was bleeding out.”

In the immediate aftermath of the crash, Francine attempted to keep Janae calm and alert while James applied a tourniquet to one of her legs.

Janae was in town with her parents on Feb. 18, 2023, to compete in a volleyball tournament. They were walking in downtown St. Louis when Riley’s SUV struck Janae and pinned her against a parked car.

Riley had been speeding in the moments before the crash. Prosecutors claim that as Riley sped past a yield sign at the intersection at St. Charles and North 11th streets, a Chevy Malibu hit Riley’s SUV, sending the SUV airborne and into Janae.

“Her will to live was far greater than what Daniel Riley could do to her,” Francine said.

Francine praised her daughter’s resiliency in surviving the crash and through ongoing rehabilitation, but lamented that Janae shoulders a tremendous burden that she should not have to.

“When you see (Janae) smile, it hides her sadness. It hides her physical pain. It hides a lot of emotional pain that she has,” she said.

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“She doesn’t complain about things. Why does she do this? Because she knows her unhappiness would be far too great of a burden for us and the rest of her family. She takes on her own pain and hides it so the people she loves don’t hurt.”

In their statement, the Edmondsons called for Riley to face the full consequences for his actions, saying he has not shown any remorse in the past 14 months.

“Daniel Riley has never had any consequences for any of his actions. He doesn’t know the meaning of that word,” Francine said. “He has shown no compassion during any of this entire ordeal. He has shown no remorse, no empathy, because he don’t have it in him. It’s not in his soul.

“He must face the full extent of the consequences to what he has done to Janae on that date – February 18. He needs to serve the entirety of his sentence.”

Riley did not have anything to say prior to Judge Noble reading the sentence. Riley also declined to testify during his trial.

Riley was out on bond at the time of the crash in a pending robbery case, even though he had violated the conditions of his release many times.

Riley’s attorney filed for a retrial on April 3, alleging the St. Louis Circuit Court committed multiple legal errors against his client. Judge Noble denied the motion for a new trial at the sentencing hearing.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Gabe Gore, who was present in the courtroom for the sentencing, praised the judge’s decision.

“This sentence reflects the careful deliberation of the jury and the judgment of the community,” he said. “Although it does not ease the suffering the Edmondson family has endured, Daniel Riley’s sentence sends a clear message that reckless driving will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

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