ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Thursday called for calm when the verdict in the Jason Stockley murder case is made public.
Attorney Al Watkins answered questions on behalf of Christina Wilson, fiancee of Anthony Lamar Smith, and though calm, Watkins was visibly frustrated with the verdict situation.
Former St. Louis police officer Stockley is on trial for first-degree murder of Anthony Lamar Smith. Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson’s verdict is expected to be announced sometime Friday.
When asked by a reporter if he had any indication of what the verdict in the Stockley trial was going to be, Watkins fired off a passionate response to the preparations that have been made ahead of the announcement:
“I am a simple-minded lawyer from the Heartland of America. I can tell you when you see the type of preparation that has been made – when you observe with the simple-minded insight of a lawyer – that you have barricades set up, that you have a federal court building that’s going to be emptied out tomorrow, you have a law school down the block that’s going to be emptied, you have state courts being emptied, you have kids in North County that are being told ‘don’t come to school,; you have a judge – who waits until his daughter’s marriage ceremony is done – before he announces a verdict, so he can accommodate his own personal agenda — you want to know what this simple guy thinks? That verdict’s not going to be what’s going to be consistent with the evidence. That’s my opinion, and I have the right to say it.”
Watkins’ response begins about the 2:20 minute mark:
Watkins said Christina Wilson plans on being present for the verdict with her family and friends. He added that it is still not known “whether this will be a released verdict, whether this will be announced in a courtroom, and if so, specifically what time.”
Watkins said he received a phone call from a representative from the circuit attorney’s office “who, unabashedly, acknowledged that they were not in possession of the exact protocol or logistics related to the verdict.”
“It’s, quite frankly, appallingly stunning,” he said.
Watkins answered questions from the media following Greitens’ call for peace, made alongside Christina Wilson:
Protesters were in place outside the Wainwright State Office Building downtown after the statements.
Gov. Eric Greitens on Thursday “took the initial steps” to activate the Missouri National Guard in anticipation of possible events related to the Stockley verdict.