Gun-Swinging St. Louis Couple Receive Pardon From MO Guv.

Armed homeowners standing in front of their house along Portland Place confront protesters as they march to Mayor Lyda Krewson's house on Sunday, June 28, 2020, in the Central West End in St. Louis. (Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS)
Armed homeowners Mark and Patricia McCloskey stand in front of their house along Portland Place confront protesters as they march to Mayor Lyda Krewson's house on June 28, 2020, in the Central West End in St. Louis. ... Armed homeowners Mark and Patricia McCloskey stand in front of their house along Portland Place confront protesters as they march to Mayor Lyda Krewson's house on June 28, 2020, in the Central West End in St. Louis. (Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Tribune News Service via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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August 4, 2021 11:19 a.m.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) on Tuesday fulfilled his promise to pardon Mark and Patricia McCloskey after the wealthy St. Louis couple pleaded guilty to pointing their firearms at Black Lives Matter protesters who were passing by their home last summer.

The pardon came a little more than a year after the governor, hours after the McCloskeys were criminally charged, declared during a Fox News appearance that he would “without a doubt” pardon the couple, whom he described as “law-abiding citizens,” if they were convicted.

Mark McCloskey, who is running for Missouri Senate in the 2022 midterms, claimed in a statement to the Washington Post that he and his wife had “faced political prosecution for having the audacity to defend our lives and property from an angry mob” and are “incredibly thankful that Governor Mike Parson righted this wrong and granted us pardons.”

Joel Schwartz, a lawyer for the couple, also took a victory lap.

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“Mark McCloskey has publicly stated that if he were involved in the same situation, he would have the exact same conduct,” the attorney told the Associated Press. “He believes that the pardon vindicates that conduct.”

Al Watkins, the McCloskeys’ other attorney (who, in his capacity as an attorney for one of the Jan. 6 insurrectionists, previously told TPM that said insurrectionists were “fucking short-bus people”), was more impassive.

“Given the governor’s long-standing pronouncement that he would pardon the McCloskeys, I don’t think the lay of the land has changed much,” Watkins told TPM over the phone.

Mark McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault while Patricia pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment. In addition to paying fines, the couple were also ordered to turn in the rifle and wee handgun they waved at the protesters, who were not shown to be violent in video footage of the incident.

Parson’s pardon list did not include 62-year-old Kevin Strickland, who has been imprisoned for more than 40 years for murders that, prosecutors now say, the true killers have confessed to.

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