JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The Missouri Attorney General's Office is hoping to stay on as prosecutor in the criminal case against a county prosecutor.
Assistant Attorney General Gregory Goodwin filed the application with the Missouri Supreme Court on July 28 to consider hearing the Shayne Healea case. The Eastern District Court of Appeals disqualified the attorney general over an appearance of impropriety in how it and the Columbia Police Department handled evidence.
The case has been held up numerous times after Healea's attorney Shane Farrow brought up a conversation between him and Healea that was recorded by the CPD the night of Healea's arrest. The court of appeals ordered the attorney general off the case for not handing over a copy of the recording until Farrow requested it in 2016.
Goodwin's application said the court of appeals overstated the appearance of impropriety" in the situation. The office had given Farrow a copy of the video in December 2014, but no member of the attorney general's office had watched the video.
Healea, the Moniteau County prosecutor, has faced felony charges of assault and leaving the scene of an accident since October 2014. Columbia police accused him of trying to drive away from Addison's restaurant after backing his truck into a wall, injuring four people inside. Officers suspected Healea was drunk at the time.
Goodwin argued that disqualifying the attorney general would complicate the future of the case. If Healea was convicted, state law requires him to give up his position as prosecutor. Only the attorney general, county prosecutor or county counselor can file that paperwork, and Moniteau County has no county counselor. Goodwin said it was unlikely Healea would file the paperwork to remove himself if convicted.