JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Governor Mike Parson has pardoned a pair of St. Louis attorneys who drew international fame and infamy for waving guns at protesters outside their Central West End home last year.
The pardons were issued on Friday, July 30, but announced Tuesday.
Parson issued 12 pardons and commuted two sentences.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanors for the June 2020 incident. Mark pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault. His wife pleaded guilty to harassment. They were sentenced to pay the maximum fines: $750 for him, $2,000 for her. The weapons they brandished were destroyed as a condition of their pleas.
A grand jury indicted the couple last year on felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering. In April 2021, the Missouri Supreme Court rejected St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s request to prosecute the couple. The McCloskeys have said Gardner used the case for her own political gain.
Demonstrators were marching to the home of then-Mayor Lyda Krewson on June 28, 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 of them 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 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.
There was no evidence that any of the protesters had weapons, Callahan said, but he also considered that the McCloskeys had no criminal records, they were the ones who called police, and no shots were fired.
The McCloskeys emerged as celebrities in conservative circles and gave a pre-taped address during the 2020 Republican National Convention.
Mark McCloskey has since declared himself a Republican candidate for the US Senate from Missouri in the wake of the incident.