In a surprise move, Mark and Patricia McCloskey on Thursday pleaded guilty for waving guns at protesters outside their St. Louis home last year.
Mark McCloskey pleaded guilty to a Class C misdemeanor or 4th degree assault. He faces a $750 fine and no jail time. Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to a Class A misdemeanor of second-degree harassment. She was fined $2,000 and will not face jail time. They both consent to forfeit their guns to be destroyed.
Last month, a special prosecutor amended the charges against Patricia McCloskey. He filed a new indictment giving jurors the alternative of convicting McCloskey of misdemeanor harassment instead of the weapons charge. Last year, a grand jury indicted the McCloskeys on felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering.
Demonstrators were marching to the home of then-Mayor Lyda Krewson on June 28, 2020, amid nationwide protests after police killed George Floyd in Minneapolis. The protesters ventured onto a private street that includes the McCloskey mansion.
The couple, both attorneys in their early 60s, said they felt threatened after protesters broke down an iron gate and ignored a no trespassing sign. Protest leaders denied damaging the gate and said the march was peaceful. Mark McCloskey came out of his home with an AR-15-style rifle and Patricia McCloskey emerged with a semiautomatic handgun. Cellphone video captured the confrontation.
Richard Callahan, a longtime judge and former U.S. attorney, was appointed special prosecutor after a judge in December ruled that Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner created an appearance of impropriety by mentioning the McCloskey case in fundraising emails before the August Democratic primary. Gardner went on to win reelection.
The McCloskeys emerged as celebrities in conservative circles. They spoke on video during last summer’s Republican National Convention, and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson vowed to issue pardons if they were convicted. Mark is running as a Republican for the U.S. Senate. Their trial was scheduled to start on November 1.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice