Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the wealthy couple from St. Louis who were slapped with criminal charges for brandishing their guns at mostly Black nonviolent protesters in their neighborhood, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and will turn in the guns they waved at protesters.
Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and must pay a fine of $2,000. Her husband, Mark McCloskey, also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was fined $750.
The McCloskeys claimed that Black Lives Matter protesters trespassed their property and endangered their safety when marching past their home in June 2020. The couple waved guns at the several hundred protesters who passed by their residence.
The Associated Press reported that the couple, both of whom are personal injury attorneys in their 60s, maintained a calm demeanor while Judge David Mason questioned them during a hearing on Thursday. Asked whether he acknowledged that he and his wife’s waving of their guns at protesters put people at risk of personal injury, Mark McCloskey replied that he “sure did, your honor.”
However, the AP noted that Mark McCloskey — who launched a bid for a Senate eat in Missouri — did not exhibiting remorse after the hearing.
“I’d do it again,” he said from the courthouse steps in downtown St. Louis, according to the AP. “Any time the mob approaches me, I’ll do what I can to put them in imminent threat of physical injury because that’s what kept them from destroying my house and my family.”
According to the AP, the McCloskeys’ defense lawyer, Joel Schwartz, said the couple floated the idea of raising money by donating Mark’ rifle to charity, but admitted that it was an odd request.
The McCloskeys will not lose their law licenses and are still permitted to own firearms because the charges are misdemeanors.
Special prosecutor Richard Callahan argued that the misdemeanor plea was reasonable because the McCloskeys called the police and did not fire shots at the protesters who marched by their home.
“But I think that their conduct was a little unreasonable in the end,” Callahan said, according to the AP. “I don’t think people should view this case as some type of betrayal or assault on the Second Amendment. We still have the Second Amendment rights. It’s just that the Second Amendment does not permit unreasonable conduct.”
Last October, a grand jury indicted the McCloskeys on felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering.
After charging the McCloskeys in July, St. Louis circuit attorney Kim Gardner launched an investigation that led to the couple’s initial indictments — in addition to backlash from prominent Republicans that included then-President Trump, who defended the couple. The McCloskeys were featured in a video aired during the 2020 Republican National Convention.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) previously said that he plans to pardon the couple if they are convicted.