St. Louis, MO – Missouri Governor Mike Parsons kept his promise on Tuesday to pardon that St. Louis couple who pleaded guilty to misdemeanors for pointing guns at protesters who had broken down their neighborhood gate to get to the mayor’s house.
Parsons announced on Aug. 3 that he had pardoned Mark and Patricia McCloskey for their convictions related to defending their historic home from the mob, a promise he made back in July of 2020 shortly after the incident occurred, KMOV reported.
No charges had been filed against the McCloskeys at that point.
But a grand jury in October of 2020 indicted Mark and Patricia McCloskey on gun and evidence tampering charges for defending their historic home from angry protesters four months earlier.
The McCloskeys were featured holding a pistol and a semi-automatic rifle in now-iconic viral videos after a mob broke down the gate into their private neighborhood and threatened their lives.
The incident occurred on June 28, 2020 when rioters who were trying to get to the St. Louis mayor’s private residence broke down the locked gate into the community where the McCloskeys resided and began marching through the private streets.
The McCloskeys, who are both attorneys, grabbed an unloaded semi-automatic rifle and an inoperable prop gun from a court case and faced off with the protesters in front of their $1.5 million home to defend their property.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner subsequently charged the McCloskeys with one felony count each of unlawful use of a weapon, after the couple stood outside their own home and displayed guns to defend their property.
But then in December of 2020, Circuit Judge Thomas Clark II disqualified Gardner and her entire office from prosecuting McCloskeys.
Clark cited the fact the prosecutor sent improper fundraising emails that mentioned Mark and Patricia McCloskey.
The judge’s order said that the two fundraising emails Gardner sent out before and after she charged the McCloskeys with felony gun crimes made it look like the prosecutor “initiated a criminal prosecution for political purposes,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
“Like a needle pulling thread, she links the defendant and his conduct to her critics,” the judge wrote. “These emails are tailored to use the June 28 incident to solicit money by positioning her against defendant and her more vocal critics.”
The judge’s order barred the whole St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office from participating in the prosecution of the couple, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
“This is a high-profile case, receiving extensive media coverage, eliminating any possibility that any assistant circuit attorney is unaware of Ms. Gardner’s incipient interest, initial involvement and advocacy on this matter,” Clark said.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt expressed his opposition to the prosecution of the McCloskeys by filing a brief supporting a motion to dismiss the case, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
The governor said that if the McCloskeys were convicted, he would pardon them.
In May, the special prosecutor assigned to their case amended the charges against Patricia McCloskey to give the jury the option to convict her of misdemeanor harassment instead of a weapons charge.
The McCloskeys were scheduled to go to trial in November.
The announcement that the McCloskeys had taken plea deals came a surprise to many, given the political support they’d had from state leadership.
But then the governor did exactly as he had promised and pardoned both Mark and Patricia McCloskey, KMOV reported.
Mark McCloskey is currently running for U.S. Senate in Missouri as a Republican.