Criminal charges still not filed in Carl Debrodie case: 'You have to have evidence'

Case of Carl Debrodie

While many people want someone to be held accountable for Carl Debrodie's death, criminal charges still have not been filed in the case. 

On Wednesday, ABC 17 News uncovered disturbing allegations in new court documents released in the wrongful death lawsuit. While the court documents sound similar to a police report (you can read them here), they only contain allegations in a civil lawsuit. 

"We're not dealing with direct police reports, so, in a civil lawsuit, anybody can allege anything," former Cole County prosecutor Bill Tackett said. "You still have to have evidence, and you have to know who did what when to file charges." 

There are a number of criminal allegations in the lawsuit, including the claims that no one called 911 when Debrodie was found unresponsive. However, that doesn't mean there's enough evidence to convince a jury beyond reasonable doubt. 

"These may be the circumstances," Tackett said of the allegations in the court documents, "But that's different than proving, with evidence, that a particular person did all this or did parts of this."

Carl Debrodie's former caregiver Mary Martin said she wanted to "crawl in the bathtub and hold him [Carl]" when she learned of the allegations. She also said there's often a lack of oversight in Callaway County because it's such a small tight knit community. 

"We need to remember the horrible way he died and have the guts to turn people in," she said. 

If there's not enough evidence to file criminal charges, then "you turn to non-criminal offices to rectify what went wrong and make sure it doesn't happen again," Tackett said. 

ABC 17 News also reached out to Callaway County prosecutor Chris Wilson, who provided the following statement: 

While I have worked closely with the attorneys in the civil case by keeping them up to date on the criminal investigation and work by our office and federal prosecutors, I can't comment on their allegations.  I will say that both the Missouri Attorney General's Office and our office have provided documents to the family's attorneys.

I'm not ready to make any announcement regarding the criminal investigation at this time.  I continue to work with the federal prosecutors on that front and have agreed not to act unilaterally and potentially jeopardize their work.  

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