McCloskeys Plead Not Guilty to Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Evidence Tampering Charges

st. louis mccloskey

Mark and Patricia McCloskey leave following a court hearing Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, in St. Louis. The McCloskeys have pleaded not guilty to two felony charges, unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with evidence. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

By Jim Salter, AP

A St. Louis couple celebrated in some circles and vilified in others for waving guns at protesters marching on their private street pleaded not guilty to two felony charges at a brief hearing Wednesday.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who are both attorneys in their early 60s, were indicted by a St. Louis grand jury last week on charges of unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with evidence. They will appear in court again Oct. 28.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner originally filed the weapons charge in July. The grand jury added the evidence tampering charge. The indictment states that a semiautomatic pistol was altered in a way that “obstructed the prosecution of Patricia McCloskey” on the weapons charge.

The McCloskeys have blamed the “leftist” Democrats in St. Louis for their plight and have become folk heroes among some conservatives. They have received support from President Donald Trump and they spoke on video during the opening night of the Republican National Convention.

In fact, the McCloskeys’ attorney, Joel Schwartz, indicated that Trump remains interested in the case.

“They have spoken with the president,” Schwartz said after the hearing. “The president contacts them semi-frequently.” He declined to elaborate and the McCloskeys declined to be interviewed.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has defended the couple’s right to protect their home and said he will pardon them if they are convicted.

The protest on June 28 came in the midst of national racial injustice demonstrations that followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. A few hundred marchers were on their way to St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home when they veered onto a private street made up of million-dollar homes in St. Louis’ posh Central West End.

The McCloskeys claimed the protesters not only ignored a “No Trespassing” sign but also broke down an iron gate. Protest leaders said they did not damage the gate.

Mark McCloskey emerged from his home armed with an AR-15 rifle and Patricia McCloskey came out with a semiautomatic handgun. It wasn’t immediately clear if that gun was the same one that was the subject of the evidence tampering charge.

Cellphone video captured the tense confrontation between the McCloskeys and the protesters. The couple said they felt threatened but protest leaders said the demonstration was peaceful on their end. No shots were fired and no one was hurt.

Gardner, a Democrat, said the display of guns risked bloodshed. A police probable cause statement said protesters feared “being injured due to Patricia McCloskey’s finger being on the trigger, coupled with her excited demeanor.”

Schwartz called the charges a “travesty” and a “political prosecution,” citing as evidence Gardner’s ads in her successful Democratic primary campaign in August in which she referenced the case.

Schwartz said he will ask that Gardner’s office be disqualified so another prosecutor can take over the case.

Gardner said in a statement: “As in all cases prosecuted by the Circuit Attorney Office, we seek justice on behalf of the people of the city of St. Louis that ensures fairness while protecting the due process rights of the accused.”

Nine people involved in the protest were charged with misdemeanor trespassing, but the city counselor’s office later dropped the charges. The city counselor’s office handles lesser crimes and is not affiliated with the circuit attorney’s office.

Mark McCloskey, after a brief court hearing last week, expressed anger that he and his wife faced criminal charges while those who trespassed on his property did not.

“Every single human being that was in front of my house was a criminal trespasser,” McCloskey said. “They broke down our gate. They trespassed on our property. Not a single one of those people is now charged with anything. We’re charged with felonies that could cost us four years of our lives and our law licenses.”

comments

  1. avatar Joey says:

    Kangaroo court at its finest.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      so where were the cops while all this was going down?

    2. avatar Connie in KC says:

      As a KC resident, I can affirm dimocrap administrations run KC & STL, and both experiencing alarming murder rates, with KC setting an all time record by year’s end, even with BLM painted on several streets.

      Thank goodness for our rural conservative areas and a great governor Parson.

    3. avatar Craig in IA says:

      “A St. Louis couple celebrated in some circles and vilified in others for waving guns at protesters…”

      Waving guns? Is that what they were doing? Salter must’ve watched different videos.

      “The couple said they felt threatened but protest leaders said the demonstration was peaceful on their end.”

      Sure, very peaceful after they broke down the gate that was marked with No Tresspassing and private property signage. The presence of armed property owners likely had some influence on keeping the “protest” peaceful. Thankfully…

      “Gardner, a Democrat, said the display of guns risked bloodshed.”

      Possible bloodshed only if the criminal tresspassers would’ve attempted violence and rioting after breaking in. As it was, the mere presence of the firearms actually had a calming effect on a tense situation. Those breaking in may have been dumb but at least on that day, they weren’t stupid.

      “Mark McCloskey, after a brief court hearing last week, expressed anger that he and his wife faced criminal charges while those who trespassed on his property did not.”

      And THIS is the crux of the matter- the lawbreakers were let off with not even a cheap handslap and those protecting themselves from them have been vilified.

  2. avatar DietzNuts says:

    George Soros is a supporter of the Leftist District Attorney causing this. Both are evil scum trying to destroy our constitutional rights.

    1. avatar Patrick H says:

      Really? How do you know that? Is it public information?

      1. avatar Rusty - Molon Labe - Chains says:

        George Soros has given lots of money to elect left wing prosecutors. Internet searches can tell you a lot about it: https://youtu.be/BGzDYJW1Oyg

        1. avatar Miner49er says:

          Do you know, YouTube videos are not a reliable source of information.

          If you want to appear to be credible, you need to provide a source or citation to back up the claims you make.

          Otherwise, it’s just empty speech from an empty head. Or, intentional disinformation from an agent being compensated to spread distrust among American citizens before the election.

        2. avatar jwm says:

          miner. Ironic. And you actually think you’re influencing folks.

          Fascinating.

        3. avatar 9x39 says:

          That’s an interesting tactic Miner. If one that’s played out, and rather vapid..

          The propagandist sowing purposed disinformation, then claiming anyone else’s evidence is invalid. Even though he cites similar to those he’s accusing others of. All. The.Time.

          Pull the other one.

        4. avatar strych9 says:

          You guys realize that our resident trolls exhibit classic cult thinking, right?

          Whether the believe what they say or just say it for the reaction it provokes is immaterial. The behavior in both cases is the same.

          You can’t reason with them. There is literally zero point in interacting with them. At all. Nothing you say and no amount of data will change them. They will simply call your data false while expounding the virtues of their own.

          Banish them back to their bridge and let them starve alone.

        5. avatar 9x39 says:

          @ Strych9

          That’s not what it’s about my man. The trolls aren’t here to sway our opinion, thought’s, or facts. They are here to manipulate other less informed people, many of whom just lurk the site, and fence stradler’s who aren’t fully convinced either way, due to lack of exposure.

          The misinformation, disinformation, and outright lies must be drug kicking & screaming into the light. Fact’s put there for the earlier mentioned one’s who remain unconvinced either way.

          A linked dossier detailing the occurrences, & links to the instances wouldn’t hurt either.

        6. avatar Missouri_Mule Esquire Emeritus says:

          A Soros PAC gave the St. Louis City Prosecutor $26,000 right before the primary.
          Good to know what prosecutors are and what they cost.
          He dropped over a million in L.A. recently
          .

        7. avatar Miner49er says:

          “A Soros PAC gave the St. Louis City Prosecutor $26,000 right before the primary.”

          You know, I asked for a source or a citation and you just give me another statement without any sort of reference.

          Which PAC? And how is this PAC tied to Soros?

          If Rupert Murdoch or Sheldon Adelson can donate hundreds of millions to a PAC, why would it be wrong for George Soros to donate to a PAC?

        8. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          “They will simply call your data false while expounding the virtues of their own.”

          Here’s the thing on that one –

          If we don’t respond to them, they will say “See? They don’t deny the point I made!”

          Classic ‘Catch-22’ in action. One thing that they are valuable for is for us to hone our 2A debating skills.

          A lemon-lemonade kinda situation. Not the best, but not the worst…

        9. avatar strych9 says:

          “They are here to manipulate other less informed people…”

          If they bother to read they will rapidly see that trolls get no response, suggesting that no one takes them seriously and they will note that everything the trolls say is contradicted by numerous freestanding comments.

          The combination tells them what they need to know and if it doesn’t serve this function then they’re too dumb to know which end of a gun is the business end and there’s no amount of arguing with the trolls that’s going to save those people.

          All you are doing is giving the trolls more reason and space to spew more of their bullshit and the legitimacy that comes with an actual thread of interaction. You’re not debunking anything they say.

        10. avatar strych9 says:

          Geoff;

          Apologies, didn’t see your comment before I replied to 9×39.

          So, to put this gently, you’re incorrect.

          Reddit and Facebook know it as do successful restaurateurs.

          Simply put, attention begets attention. A line out the door gets more asses in seats because a large percentage of people automatically assume subconsciously that the line means a wait and if there’s a wait peoplebare waiting for something good.

          Websites with voting systems for “popular comments” do this as well. Just go peruse Breitbart. Your top comment has the most likes, sure, but it also has the most replies. And how intelligent is your average comment? Not fucking very. Get in early on a Biden story and say “Biden’s a senile old commie! MAGA KAG!” and just like that you too can have a top comment.

          But as you scroll you’ll find that there’s a secondary tier of comments that have massive numbers of replies. They’re anti-Trump trolls.

          With a pen and paper you can try this out here on a few popular stories. Generally <8 commenters have 40%+ of the comments out of 200+. Mostly BS arguments back amd forth. (Except for serge who actually managed 50%+ all by himself. Even I was impressed by that level of tenacity.)

          Now, part of the problem with the internet is that generally people are opinion shopping. That's why they come here. That is they're looking for something that supports something they already believe. And when something like that is made popular by mass replies it's easy to find. No thinking necessary just find your opinion posted by someone else. How? Scroll through the popular comments. They'll generally fall into two polar categories and whichever one you prefer is self affirmation found and usually embraced.

          At the same time most of the responses and the counter trolls are exactly the kind of thing that make owners look like the caricatures already draw for us. Keep in mind that the target person already has an opinion. So in wild arguments that are, uh, undefined shall we say, the other side look like whiney, closeminded jerks. New gun owner, maybe not that comfortable, doesn’t really LIKE guns but recent unrest pushed them to see reality… yeah, we lose that person when we fuck around like this because we act like exactly what they’ve been told to see. And it doesn’t really matter if they’re smart, this is an emotional play. One we tend to lose.

          The big web companies know this. Advertisers know this. Restaurateurs know this. And they all do it, and spend money doing it, because it works.

          So, you’re not making really taking lemons and making lemonade. Your taking lemons and pointing a pistol at your own foot.

          Ignore the trolls and respond to useful, thoughtful comments. Make those threads longer so they stand out. Few casual readers read every comment. They jump from one juicy looking thread to the next. Let the trolls have standalone comments until they get bored and go away. When they inject themselves into a thread, unless they say something useful, ignore them. Force them to actually discuss and debate in good faith or be ignored.

          This is exactly how Zuckerberg became a billionaire. He gave people a hit of the neurotransmitters they crave and did so via convincing them unwinnable bullshit Facebook arguments were worthwhile. He sold them a lie, took their info and sold that for cash.

      2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        the amount of money he donated for the election fund is public. seems kind of supportive to me.

  3. avatar Debbie W. says:

    Where ever there are democRats like mike nyfong you”ll find a kangaroo court. In the end and thanks to the Gov. these charges are not worth the paper they are printed on.

    TRUMP/PENCE 2020.

    1. avatar James Campbell says:

      💯👍

  4. avatar HEGEMON says:

    Kim Gardner is an anti-white leftist masquerading as a prosecutor. Gardner won’t prosecute leftist thugs and is also anti-2A. Gardner is a fraud perpetrating a politically motivated extra judicial process. Gardner doesn’t believe in the American judicial system and has adopted the Stalinist model. Gardner is garbage.

    1. avatar James Campbell says:

      Well, kim is tight with the obamas, so no surprise there

    2. avatar Ransom says:

      Not only that but if Kim Gardner pursues this with the knowledge that the governor will issue a full pardon she should be billed for the potentially millions of wasted taxpayer dollars.

  5. avatar Jeff says:

    Soros prosecutors are a bane to law and order in America. Their political and personal jihad against Americans is exposed by this case. We need to expose the communist prosecutors and remove them.

  6. avatar Debbie W. says:

    Articles about the bidens are lying are being scrambled on my device. All pro democRat news articles have no reception issues. Is it possible for google puritains to be in camp with twitter and facebook? Why yes it is.

    1. avatar former water walker says:

      Not on FOX or CBN…they haven’t been taken over. Yet.

      1. avatar James Campbell says:

        It’ll be a gradual process.
        Chris Wallace and Juan Williams are on Fox.
        I save the the shows I like that might have JW on the panel, JUST so I can jump past his leftard drivel.
        Don’t attempt to make sense of what spews from the sphincter on JWs face!

        1. avatar Terrance says:

          Chill out dude, fox purposely hired Juan to be the antagonist in “the 5” segments. Also to make it seem like a fair two sided opinion is being presented. He’s doing the job the new company is instructing him to do.

        2. avatar James Campbell says:

          First time poster?
          Welcome to TTAG!
          Oh, and don’t call a Texan “dude”!
          Trump Pence 2020!

        3. avatar RGP says:

          Cute. I know two people whose first name is actually Dude. Both Texans.

        4. avatar IP Freely says:

          James is one of those rare Texans who’s both gay and a gun owner.

          Trump/Pence 2020

        5. avatar James Campbell says:

          Well, it’s good thing I’m not here to validate my sexual preferences then.
          Carry on homophobic trolls. Oh, and troll harder, really pathetic trolling here on TTAG of late. Dance for the dollars little leashed monkeys, I command you!
          Trump Pence 2020

    2. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

      Private media companies acting free of burdensome “socialist” government regulation. Just follow different sources. Free market at work.

  7. avatar NORDNEG says:

    This sounds a lot like what’s happening in Portland, Oregone, the (so called) peaceful protestors are getting a break from a wimpy attorney general & mayor & governor, and the general public, & shop owners, gets screwed again,
    Ain’t Democrats wonderful?
    “””FREE KYLE”””

  8. avatar Biatec says:

    I feel bad for them. I think the bar needs to be lowered for self defense honestly.

  9. avatar Matt in Oklahoma says:

    Keep fighting!

  10. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    “Mark McCloskey emerged from his home carrying something that resembled an AR-15”

    FIFY

    (Every time I see that photo, it looks like some plastic prop gun)

  11. avatar dlj83544 says:

    …pray tell – what was the “evidence tampering”? Read through the article and no description of “the tampering” was noted.

  12. avatar Daniel Hoover says:

    Red Man BAD. GUNS BAD. ALL must go to prison.

    I wonder if the people who were going to kidnap Gov. Whitmer will receive FREE BAIL like all the other terrorist groups like BLM and ANTIFA?

  13. avatar Miner49er says:

    “McCloskey said. “They broke down our gate. They trespassed on our property.”

    And that is one of their many lies that will come back to bite them in open court.

    Not their gate, not their property.

    The gate and property belongs to the Portland place trustees, and they declined to prosecute the trespass.
    They’ve had many problems from the McCloskeys over the years, been in and out of court with them and the HOA is tired of their BS.

  14. avatar Miner49er says:

    For a so-called ‘law and order’ president, Trump sure is keeping company with a lot of criminal suspects.

    First we have the McCloskey’s, wild-eyed gun waivers who are now under indictment that Trump invited to speak to the Republican national convention.

    And then we have Amy Thorn who also spoke at the Republican convention, she’s now wanted on a charge of malicious wounding:

    “WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — A Mingo County nurse who spoke at the Republican National Convention in August is a suspect in a Williamson shooting.

    Authorities on Friday reported Amy Thorn allegedly shot Jonda Whitt near 841 Vinson St. on Thursday. Thorn faces a charge of malicious wounding.

    Amy Thorn is also known as Amy Johnson and Amy Ford.

    Thorn, a registered nurse, spent the early months of the coronavirus pandemic working as a relief nurse in New York City and San Antonio.

    Ford spoke at the Republican National Convention in support of President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic.

    Police said Whitt underwent surgery and is expected to recover.”

    And what’s up with this:

    “Amy Thorn is also known as Amy Johnson and Amy Ford.”

    I’m guessing bad checks or open warrants.

    1. avatar Dude says:

      “____ sure is keeping company with a lot of criminal suspects.”

      Let’s go with your logic there. Does that make democrat Senator Manchin a bad guy now since he wasn’t able to predict a shooting in the future? You vote for Manchin, correct?

      “Earlier this week, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., honored Ford, naming her a “Better Angel” – a list of local heroes who are making a difference.”
      https://wchstv.com/news/local/mingo-county-nurse-on-front-lines-of-covid-19-pandemic-in-nyc

      1. avatar Miner49er says:

        Joe Manchin respects and appreciates the work the front line medical personnel do in fighting COVID-19, even though Donald Trump belittles the doctors and researchers.

        Donald Trump has publicly encouraged his followers to use guns to solve problems, do you not remember when he said that his supporters should seek a “second amendment solution“?

        The point is, the suspect in the shooting is a Trump-approved supporter, not a Democrat, not a Manchin supporter, a Trump supporter and that’s a fact, Jack.

        We can add her to the list of trumps other criminal supporters and accomplices, Manafort, Gates, Cohen, Stone, Flynn, etc.

        Please remind me again, how many of the Obama/Biden administration officials have been convicted or even charged with a crime?

        1. avatar Dude says:

          Did they invite her to speak after she shot someone? No? Then what’s your point? You have none, as usual. She gained attention from the RNC the same way she gained attention from Manchin. Do you want to pick and choose a few convicts here and there or do you want to go down the list of political affiliation for all criminals? It’s stupid, but where else is this conversation supposed to go? Well, here ya go:

          “The authors, professors from the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University, found that in some states, felons register Democratic by more than six-to-one. In New York, for example, 61.5 percent of convicts are Democrats, just 9 percent Republican. They also cited a study that found 73 percent of convicts who turn out for presidential elections would vote Democrat.”

          https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/jail-survey-7-in-10-felons-register-as-democrats

        2. avatar Miner49er says:

          Your comment is an exploration of the depths of deception and the heights of hypocrisy, sad.

          First, the deception.

          You give the impression that convicts are all Democrats, based on this ‘study’.

          What do you don’t say is that this study concerns registration of individuals who have paid their debt to society and been released and granted the right to vote.

          And the study does not concern how individuals register or whether they were registered before they were convicted.

          The actual goal of the study taken directly from the abstract, is:

          “This research, and considerable activism drawing attention to the issue, has spurred a number of state legislatures to pass laws requiring the states to notify ex-felons about their voting rights. The purpose of this article is to better understand the policy processes that produce these notification laws and to assess whether the laws affect ex-felons’ registration and turnout rates.”

          “Our findings show little evidence of an increase in ex-felon registration or turnout after notification laws are implemented.”

          Notice their use of the term ‘ex -felons’, yet in your comment you characterize the results as concerning ‘felons’.

          Your use of deceptive language just proves that you are a bald-faced liar.

          And you bet those who had a brush with the flawed criminal justice system often register as Democrat once they’ve been released and regained their rights, after all, ‘a Democrat is a Republican who’s been arrested’.

          Now to the hypocrisy.

          We just had several articles on this very list with comments responding that the constitution does not countenance the deprivation of rights even for felony convictions.

          By that standard, these citizens have every right to register for the political party of their choice once they have completed their sentence.

          But you seem to think that even though they have discharged their sentence, they are somehow 2nd class citizens and not worthy of participating in the political process.

          Hypocrisy, they name is conservative Republican.

        3. avatar Dude says:

          “But you seem to think that even though they have discharged their sentence, they are somehow 2nd class citizens and not worthy of participating in the political process.”

          And where did you get that exactly? Quote me and be specific. We landed here because you changed the subject (as you always do) to let’s list these Trump supporters who are criminals. You wanted to go down that road, so here we are. Most felons are democrats. That fact has absolutely NOTHING to do with an opinion on voting rights. Are you playing dumb again, or is that the real you?

        4. avatar Dude says:

          felon noun

          fel·​on | \ ˈfe-lən
          \
          Definition of felon

          (Entry 1 of 2)
          1 : one who has committed a felony

          https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/felon

  15. avatar Wiregrass says:

    “Gardner, a Democrat, said the display of guns risked bloodshed.”

    Damn right it does. So does f’ing around with people’s private property and lives.

    That’s the whole point and what these POS Democrat prosecutors want to destroy.

  16. avatar Narcoossee says:

    Per Fox News, “The Soros-backed Super PAC’s total contribution to Gardner’s campaign was at least $190,750.73…Gardener said…that she has no regrets about assistance from the super PAC.” July 24, 2016

    1. avatar Miner49er says:

      “Soros-backed”

      Does that mean that the only connection is that George Soros donated money to this PAC?

      Isn’t it the right of any American to donate any amount of money to a PAC?

      Wasn’t that the point of the Republican-backed Citizens United, one dollar one vote, money is speech decision?

      Hypocrisy, thy name is conservative Republican.

  17. avatar Hoyt Claggwell says:

    The McCloskeys are TRUE AMERICAN HEROS! They prevented a riot by thugs. And they had better trigger control than the National Guard, at Ohio State, in 1970. God bless them!

    1. avatar Miner49er says:

      “They prevented a riot by thugs.“

      What a fascinating alternative universe you must live in.

  18. avatar Ralph says:

    The choice between a “guilty” plea and a “not guilty” plea should not be binary. Hell, even the new 4473 gender choices aren’t binary. What the McCloskeys should have done is enter a “Go Fvck Yourself” plea. That would be to the point and eloquent in its brevity.

    1. avatar Miner49er says:

      I would only hope they would be better at spelling the cuss words then you are.

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        they were probably a little more aggressive than they needed to be…but within their rights to protect their property….which counts for little with the left…..

        1. avatar Miner49er says:

          “within their rights to protect their property”

          But they were not protecting their property, the video evidence shows that the property they claim to be protecting was actually owned by the Portland Place HOA. No protesters ever entered any of the McCloskeys actual property and the HOA declined any prosecution for trespassing on their property.

          In fact, the McCloskeys had pulled guns on people on this HOA property in the past, claiming it was their property. The Portland Place HOA has fought several court battles with the McCloskeys because of their erroneous claim of ownership of the community property.

  19. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Either you have the right to defend your private property or you don’t. Either people can break into your fenced in yard or they can’t.
    The police say they will not come when you call them. So what do you do???

    Libertarians, Liberals, and the Left, don’t believe in private property rights. And they don’t live in areas where, they would be faced with such a possible violent making decision. They are far away and safe. Happy to tell others how to live. Happy to tell them to not stop invaders.

    This is how we are now just a group of Tribes. Who will occasionally go to armed skirmishes with each other.

    1. avatar Miner49er says:

      “Either you have the right to defend your private property or you don’t. Either people can break into your fenced in yard or they can’t.”

      You are sadly misinformed, got to quit watching that Fox news and listening to that Donald Trump.

      No protester ever entered their property and no one ever broke a fence or gate that belong to the McCloskeys.

      The video evidence shows that at all times the protesters remained on the property owned by the Portland Place HOA.

      The McCloskeys were not exercising their right to defend their property with firearms, they were threatening people with guns because they didn’t like the subject of the protest.

      And that’s why they are under criminal indictment, not just from the DA, but from a grand jury composed of citizens as specified by the United States Constitution.

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