Mark McCloskey and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who pointed guns at protesters outside their mansion in a gated St. Louis community last summer, on Thursday pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges, according to a statement released by special prosecutor Richard G. Callahan. The plea deal will result in fines but no jail time, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch immediately noted, even though Missouri’s misdemeanor statutes could have resulted in time behind bars.
Mark McCloskey, 64, a lawyer, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault as a Class C misdemeanor. He was ordered to pay a $750 fine, Callahan’s statement says. Missouri law authorizes a penalty of up to fifteen days in jail.
“[H]e purposefully placed at least one individual in apprehension of immediate physical injury by waiving a rifle in the direction of one or more individuals in front of his home,” Callahan’s statement said.
Patricia McCloskey, 62, also a lawyer, pleaded guilty to second-degree harassment, a Class A misdemeanor, and was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine, the statement said. Missouri law authorizes a penalty of up to one year behind bars for Class A misdemeanors.
“That charge alleges that on June 20, 2020, she pointed a pistol at a group of individuals in front of her home without good cause and with the purpose to cause emotional distress,” Callahan’s statement explained.
The fines imposed were the maximum allowable dollar amounts under state law.
“The couple also agreed to forfeit both weapons they used when they confronted several hundred protesters who were marching in front of their home in June of last year,” the Associated Press reported.
The charges are a significant step down from the original accusations prosecutors lodged against the couple.
Both of the McCloskeys were previously charged with two felonies each: unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with physical evidence. They pleaded not guilty to those original charges and were scheduled to go to trial in November, local NBC affiliate KSDK-TV reported.
“This particular resolution . . . represents my best judgment of an appropriate and fair disposition for the parties involved as well as the public good,” special prosecutor Callahan said of the ultimate misdemeanors.
He cited the misdemeanors were appropriate because of the defendants’ lack of a criminal history, “the fact they initially called the police,” and because “no one was hurt and no shots were fired.”
“The protesters on the other hand were a racially mixed and peaceful group, including women and children, who simply made a wrong turn on their way to protest in front of the mayor’s house,” Callahan’s statement continued. “There was no evidence that any of them had a weapon and no one I interviewed realized they had ventured into a private enclave. While there was back and forth conversation that resulted from the McCloskey’s display or [sic] guns, upon meeting the Association’s security guard further down the street, the followed his directions and peacefully exited the neighborhood through a gate onto Lake Street.”
Callahan said the fact that the McCloskeys were lawyers did not enter into his decision to allow the case to conclude as it did. Nor did the “talk of a possible pardon” for the McCloskeys from the governor.
“If by happenstance the Governor does take the time to consider a pardon in this case, I hope it will trigger an interest in the backload of pardon applicants who may or may not merit executive clemency, but at least deserve an answer,” Callahan said.
Statement from special prosecutor Richard Callahan regarding guilty pleas today for Marc and Patricia McCloskey. pic.twitter.com/N0WoqqK8s9
— Joel Currier (@joelcurrier) June 17, 2021
KSDK-TV and local newspaper reporter Joel Currier both noted a rather unique request from the defense. While the state asked for the guns to be destroyed, the McCloskeys asked that their guns be “rendered ineffective and then given to a charity for auction as historic artifacts,” KSDK said. “The judge denied the request.”
State asked guns to be destroyed. McCloskeys asked Mark’s rifle be rendered inoperable and donated to a charity for fundraising. Judge Mason denied that and ordered both guns to be forfeited and destroyed.
— Joel Currier (@joelcurrier) June 17, 2021
Mark McCloskey is currently running for U.S. Senate.
“I stood up to the mob,” a campaign fundraising website operated under the Win Red domain name, but using McCloskey’s logo, said shortly after the candidate pleaded guilty. “[N]ow will you stand with me?” it asked while soliciting donations.
Mark McCloskey’s website describes him in these terms:
On June 28, 2020, and then again on July 3, 2020, he and Patty held off a violent mob through the exercise of their 2nd Amendment rights. Since then, they addressed the Republican National Convention, and have been frequent guests on Fox, Newsmax, OAN, CNN and a variety of national and local news and talk TV and radio programs. They campaigned extensively in support of President Trump and continue to speak around the nation on their support of the Constitution, the traditional values that have made the USA the greatest nation on earth, and the current threats to its continued existence.
The couple also appeared on local television shortly after the incident occurred.
[image via KMOV-TV screengrab]
[This report has been updated. It began as a breaking news report.]
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