Attorneys Mark and Patricia McCloskey were indicted on Tuesday, October 6, by a St. Louis grand jury for unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with evidence.
The unlawful weapons charge stems from when the couple was filmed, on June 28, standing on their property yelling and waving guns as hundreds of protestors streamed through their gated community to reach St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home.
The protestors called for the Mayor’s resignation after she released the names and addresses of demonstrators calling for police defunding. The mayor later apologized.
The evidence tampering charge is less clear at this point, as the indictments remain under seal. The charge may be due to the couple turning over to the police a weapon that was deliberately made inoperable. The couple explained they had used the weapon “as a prop during a lawsuit they once filed against a gun manufacturer” and said it was not working when Patricia brandished it.
Crime lab members stripped the gun and reassembled it so that it was back in working condition. The McCloskey’s attorney, Joel Schwartz, speculated that this may be the reason for the charge of tampering with evidence. In response, he accused law enforcement officials of altering “evidence in order to prosecute an innocent member of the community.”
Mark, appearing with his wife on Fox News’ The Sean Hannity Show, told the host that protestors ignored three No Trespassing signs and “folded down an iron gate that’s been there since 1888.” He said the protesters “threatened us with murder, with rape, with arson, with burning our house down” – and more.
He told Hannity that the indictment was an attempt by “this Soros-funded prosecutor to intimidate people and warn people out there that if you stand up for yourself and exercise your Second Amendment Rights, we’re going to punish you.”
McCloskey was referring to the fact that nonagenarian billionaire George Soros has been pouring money into district attorney races. “Since 2015, he has spent more than $17 million on district attorney and other local races in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Arizona, but also in large, predominantly left-of-center states such as California and New York,” the Capital Research Center reported in 2019.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner was one of those supported by the Soros-backed Safety and Justice Committee in 2016, with more than $190,000 in contributions and advertising.
While Gardner is prosecuting the McCloskeys, she also summoned nine of the hundreds of protestors who walked past the McCloskey’s home. She did not pursue charges against these individuals.
In early June, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt accused Gardner of releasing three dozen looters and rioters arrested by the police. He tweeted, “In a stunning development, our office has learned that every single one of the St. Louis looters and rioters arrested were released back onto the streets by local prosecutor Kim Gardner.”
Gardner responded, “To be clear, as of right now the police department brought to my office a group of eight individuals involving stealing for prosecution. We need police to bring admissible evidence to charge. My office cannot issue any case when there is not admissible evidence. Point blank.” She later said she charged seven individuals from those two nights of rioting.
The McCloskeys aren’t the only ones in St. Louis who felt their homes and safety were threatened.
Mayor Krewson admitted in September, after protesters targeted her home many times, that she and her husband had not been living at their home for two months. They had been staying in an apartment to “to deescalate the situation, to save police resources, and importantly because our neighbors were being disturbed and threatened,” the mayor said.
While the couple’s case has become a cause célèbre for conservative news outlets and Second Amendment supporters, other press outlets have raised concerns. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published an exposé on the attorneys in August, digging into the McCloskey’s family history and litigious behavior.
The story revealed an unsavory account of accusations, counter-accusations and estrangement between Mark McCloskey and his father and siblings. It also details a long history of lawsuits – often over property issues. The report also says that the gate was not broken when protestors first walked through it, and that they remained on the streets and sidewalk, not on the couple’s property.
Whatever the couple’s past, it has to be frightening to have hundreds of angry protestors walk through your gated community, after a month of watching riots, lootings and violence in your own city and across the nation. The McCloskeys’ next hearing is scheduled for October 14.
Photo from TNS/ABACA
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