ST. LOUIS — The state Supreme Court on Tuesday unanimously overturned the 2015 convictions of a man in a deadly knife attack at a St. Louis bar, finding that a circuit judge erred by not presenting a self-defense instruction to jurors.
A St. Louis jury in 2015 found Andrew Barnett, 38, guilty of first-degree assault and armed criminal action in a knife attack a year earlier at the Little Bar, 6343 Alabama Avenue, that left Kristopher Schmeiderer paralyzed from the neck down. Schmeiderer died in December 2015 from complications of the attack, a month after Barnett was sentenced to a 30-year prison term.
Barnett appealed, arguing that St. Louis Circuit Judge Thomas Frawley refused to allow jurors to consider self-defense after such evidence was presented at trial. The state argued that self-defense wasn’t an appropriate instruction because Barnett denied stabbing Schmeiderer, precluding one’s justification to use deadly force.
Missouri’s high court Tuesday vacates Barnett’s convictions and sends his case to St. Louis Circuit Court for a new trial.
Schmeiderer’s parents have a pending wrongful death lawsuit against the bar and its owners.