The Circuit Attorney's Office said it would refile the felony invasion of privacy charge through a special prosecutor or by Gardner assigning it to one of her assistants. One of the figures under discussion now was Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, who was preparing to go to trial on charges that he took a nude photo of his hairdresser when she was bound and blindfolded and threatened to blackmail her with it. Jim Bennett, another defense attorney, said Judge Burlison's decision to allow Gardner to be a witness would soon be unsealed.
"It's a great victory and it has been a long time coming", Greitens, 44, a Republican and a former Navy SEAL, told reporters after his case was dismissed.
Greitens faces a separate criminal charge in St. Louis of tampering with computer data for allegedly disclosing the donor list of The Mission Continues to his political fundraiser in 2015 without the permission of the St. Louis-based veterans' charity he founded.
A media spokesperson for the Circuit Attorney's Office initially said there were plans to refile and appoint a special prosecutor, but a statement later released walked that back, saying, "The Circuit Attorney and her team will research the best step forward for this case in light of the court's ruling".
Greitens, who has faced a political firestorm following the revelation of his 2015 extra-marital affair, celebrated the legal victory.
Legislative leaders in the Republican-controlled Missouri Senate on Monday renewed calls for the governor to resign.
Greitens must next contend with a special session of the legislature, scheduled to begin Friday, that could lead to impeachment.
'This case is never going to be charged again'. To date the committee's work has not only provided two reports on the facts to the General Assembly but, more importantly, it has also exposed additional concerns relating to the governor's conduct. "Without the pending trial this week, it allows the Governor to take advantage of our open offer to share his side of the facts".More news: NBCUniversal May Drop WWE Smackdown Live From Its TV Schedule
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The stunning move came on third day of jury selection for Greitens' trial, which was expected to start Tuesday or Wednesday. In a conversation with her ex-husband, which he surreptitiously recorded, the woman said the affair began at Greitens' St. Louis home in March 2015, when Greitens taped her to exercise equipment, blindfolded her and took a picture of her partially nude.
Greitens and his defense took the news of the judge granting their request with an air of optimism and vindication.
Greitens's attorneys have accused her of misconduct, and covering for a lead investigator committing perjury.
Typically, lawyers in a case can not testify as witnesses without creating an ethical problem under the Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct. "She was the only witness". A defendant who wishes to call a prosecutor as a witness must demonstrate a compelling and legitimate reason to do so.
"The defense team knows that the tactic of endorsing the Circuit Attorney as a witness is part of their ongoing effort to distract people from the defendant's actions", Gardner's statement said.
Gardner spokeswoman Susan Ryan called the decision by Judge Rex Burlison "unprecedented" and said it put the circuit attorney in an "impossible position". "The court's order leaves the Circuit Attorney no adequate means of proceeding with this trial".
He apologized to his family, friends and the people of Missouri.
Greitens' attorney Scott Rosenblum has been particularly focused on any potential jurors with preconceived opinions, even those who have said under repeated questioning that they could be objective and unbiased while hearing testimony. "I believe that in all of our lives, we have to deal with pain, and that if we deal with it in the right way, we can learn wisdom". At this time I'd ask people of goodwill to come together so that all of us can continue to do good together.