Gun-waving couple pleads guilty to misdemeanors; forfeit guns

Missouri

ST. LOUIS – There will be no jail time for Mark and Patricia McCloskey after the St. Louis attorneys entered surprise guilty pleas in a gun waving case that brought them international fame.

The only point of contention in St. Louis court Thursday was what to do with the McCloskeys’ guns.

Mark McCloskey wanted his rifle to be disabled and donated to charity. That’s not happening.

He pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor. His wife pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment.

They were sentenced to pay the maximum fines: $750 for him, $2,000 for her. The weapons they brandished will be destroyed as a condition of their pleas.

McCloskeys waved and pointed firearms at Black Lives Matter protesters outside their Central West End home in June 2020.

Last year, a grand jury indicted Patricia and her husband Mark McCloskey 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, 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 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.

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 last summer’s Republican National Convention.

Mark McCloskey has since declared himself a Republican candidate for the US Senate from Missouri in the wake of the incident. He told reporters after the plea that indeed he had committed a crime and that he would do it again. Patricia McCloskey had no comment.

Even though these are misdemeanor offenses, Missouri Governor Mike Parson is considering pardons for the McCloskeys.

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