St. Louis’ most controversial couple who went viral after defending their property from a group of protestors while wielding guns – just pleased guilty and will have their weapons seized.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey, two attorneys in their 60s, were charged in the summer of 2020 after a swarm of Black Lives Matter protesters broke down an iron gate and ignored a “No Trespassing” sign on their private street.
The couple felt threatened and armed themselves before heading outside to warn off the crowd, which was on its way to the former mayor’s home. No one was hurt.
Thursday, the couple pleaded guilty to misdemeanors, and agreed to turn over their personal weapons to St. Louis authorities.
“They dropped all the weapons charges and they charged me with the lowest level of misdemeanor, which is something called assault four, which alleges that I purposely placed at least one other person in apprehension of immediate physical injury,” Mark McCloskey told Fox News over the phone after returning from court Thursday. “I said, ‘Well, I guess I did. That was all point of the guns.’”
McCloskey said he will pay a fine of $750, and his wife will pay an additional penalty on a different misdemeanor charge. He said they planned to pay them off Friday.
“It’s the value of the Second Amendment,” McCloskey said. “It’s kind of humorous for me at any rate, the charge they finally settled on for me, because it’s exactly what I did do. That’s the whole point of the Second Amendment. We stood out there with guns, and that placed them in imminent fear of physical injury, and they back off.”
The couple’s guns, seized after their initial arrests last year, will be destroyed, even though McCloskey’s attorney asked in court for the judge to allow his rifle to be donated to a charity auction.
“The good news is we’re not in front of charges now, so I don’t have any problem getting myself another AR,” he said. “The end result is what should have happened from the get-go if the incident hadn’t been politicized by the local prosecutor,” McCloskey added.
Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner appeared to make an example of the McCloskey’s, charging the pair with crimes related to the confrontation. She also reportedly sent fundraising emails mentioning the pair before and after issuing charges — an action that a judge, last December, said raised “the appearance of impropriety and jeopardize[d] the defendant’s right to a fair trial.”
She claimed she was using her email list to rebut misconceptions about the McCloskey incident created by media attention. A St. Louis judge disagreed and Gardner was ultimately removed from the case.
“Ms. Gardner has every right to rebut criticism, but it appears unnecessary to stigmatize defendant – or even mention him – in campaign solicitations, especially when she purports to be responding to others,” the judge wrote of Gardner’s emails. “In fact, the case law and Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit it.”
Worth noting, also, is that Mark McClosky has also recently announced a senate bid.
Author: William Benstead