Mark and Patricia McCloskey made headlines just a little over a year ago when they brandished firearms on the steps of their homes as hundreds of Black Lives Matter protestors walked across their yard in a private, gated community. They pleaded guilty, but on Tuesday, it was announced that Governor Mike Parsons had issued a pardon to both of them.
The day of the incident, protestors did not enter their property through public access areas, but instead destroyed a gate clearly marked as private to gain entry.
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St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner went on a public crusade to see the couple tried, convicted, and sentenced. A grand jury indicted them on charges of unlawful use of a weapon and weapons tampering. However, the Missouri Supreme Court refused to try the case.
Rather than face trial, the McCloskey’s pleaded guilty to misdemeanors, Mark to fourth-degree assault, Patricia to harassment. The pleas carried fines of $750 and $2,000, respectively. The terms also stipulated that the weapons they carried that day had to be destroyed.
After the plea hearing, an unapologetic McCloskey said, “I’d do it again. Any time the mob approaches me, I’ll do what I can to put them in imminent threat of physical injury because that’s what kept them from destroying my house and my family.”
After the pardons were announced, McCloskey’s attorney echoed that sentiment.
“Mark McCloskey has publicly stated that if he were involved in the same situation, he would have that exact same conduct. He believes that the pardon vindicates the conduct.”