McCloskey’s attorney claims prosecutorial misconduct after grand jury indictment

McCloskey’s attorney claims prosecutorial misconduct after grand jury indictment

ST. LOUIS — Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple that stood in front of their home over the summer holding firearms as a large group of demonstrators marched by, were indicted on Tuesday on felony weapons and evidence tampering charges.

“Lawyer Joel Schwartz said he was told a grand jury indicted his clients on felony counts of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. “He said he had no details. A St. Louis court clerk said the indictment was filed Tuesday but that she was not authorized to provide a copy.”

The charges related to an incident that occurred in June, when hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters marched onto a private street the McCloskeys live on. The McCloskeys went outside to confront the protesters. Mark McCloskey had an AR-15 rifle, while Patricia McCloskey had a semiautomatic pistol.

armed St. Louis residents
Armed St. Louis residents Mark and Patricia McCloskey protect their property as protesters chant and march to the mayor’s home in June. (Twitter)

The couple contends that protesters broke through an iron gate, ignored a “No Trespassing” sign, and screamed threats of arson and rape at them, while protest leaders say that the march was peaceful and no threats were made.

Watkins accused the prosecutors of tampering with the pistol by assembling it in a way that it could be fired.

“This is b——t,” Watkins told Fox News. “Hate to say it, but the state has a lot of problems with this one. And they transcend not just the evidence, but they actually are remarkably problematic from the standpoint of prosecutorial misconduct.”

Schwartz said, “I am not surprised that the grand jury indicted them but I’ll certainly be interested in what was presented to the grand jury.”

The couple was each charged by Democrat Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner in July with one felony count of brandishing a firearm.

“The government chooses to persecute us for doing no more than exercising our right to defend ourselves, our home, our property and our family and now we’re getting drug here time after time after time and for what?” Mark McCloskey said on Tuesday. “We didn’t fire a shot. People were violently protesting in front of our house and screaming death threats and threats of rape and threats of arson. Nobody gets charged but we get charged.”

The couple appeared in court earlier Tuesday, where a judge announced the case was continued to next Wednesday because the grand jury hadn’t reached a decision yet. After that hearing, Mark McCloskey said outside the courthouse that he and his wife are being “persecuted” and expressed frustration that none of the protesters involved in the incident have been charged.

“Every single human being that was in front of my house was a criminal trespasser. 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,” he said.

BLM protesters
Mark and Patricia McCloskey defend their property from St. Louis agitators. (Screenshot Fox News)

Nine protesters were charged with misdemeanor trespassing last month, but the city counselor’s office eventually dropped the charges.

A judge set the next court date for Oct. 14th, but that is likely to change in light of the grand jury indictment.

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Published at Tue, 06 Oct 2020 20:50:00 +0000

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