Missouri Governor Mike Parson on Tuesday announced that he has pardoned the McCloskey couple who recently pleaded guilty to several misdemeanor charges after they wielded guns last year to defend their home from activists who walked through their private, gated neighborhood.
The McCloskeys were two among 12 people who were granted clemency on Friday.
“Governor Parson has instructed his legal team to continue reviewing clemency files and working to reduce the backlog inherited by his administration,” according to a statement from Parson’s office.
The governor had said last year that he would “without a doubt” pardon the couple when they were dealt felony charges by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner, calling the felony charges “outrageous.”
Gardner was later removed from a role in the McCloskeys’ case after a judge in late 2020 ruled that she appeared to have started prosecution against the two for political purposes.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey, both personal injury lawyers, pleaded not guilty in October 2020 to felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering.
The two later pleaded guilty in June this year to misdemeanor charges. Mark McCloskey, 64, pleaded guilty to a Class C misdemeanor of fourth-degree assault, while Patricia McCloskey, 62, pleaded guilty to a Class A misdemeanor of second-degree harassment. They were required to pay maximum fines of $750 and $2,000, respectively.
As part of the plea agreement, the two surrendered the guns that they wielded when Black Lives Matter protesters marched past their home last summer.
Mark McCloskey explained his decision of the guilty plea to Newsmax in June, saying, “[Prosecutors] dropped all the felony charges, all the gun charges, and charged me with a crime that said I purposely placed other people in apprehension of imminent fear of physical injury—and, by God, I did it.
“That’s what the Second Amendment was there for, and I couldn’t say no to that one,” he added. “That’s what the guns were for. The guns were there to scare people off and make sure they didn’t approach us. And that’s what the guns did.”
He had pointed an AR-15 rifle while his wife brandished a semi-automatic handgun at protesters in June 2020 when the protesters moved through their private neighborhood through a gate marked “Private Street.”
Patricia McCloskey said last year that the protesters told the couple “that they were going to kill” them.
Mark McCloskey previously said he “was literally afraid that within seconds [the protesters] would surmount the wall, and come into the house, kill [the couple], burn the house down and everything that [he] had worked for and struggled for … for the last 32 years.”
The incident drew national attention and the couple was interviewed by multiple national and local media outlets.
Mark McCloskey is seeking to run for the U.S. Senate in Missouri after having filed campaign papers in May. He is seeking the seat currently held by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who is retiring. Other contenders for the seat include former Gov. Eric Greitens and state Attorney General Eric Schmitt.
McCloskey told The Epoch Times in June, “When Roy Blunt announced that he was not gonna run for re-election, people started asking whether or not I had an interest in it. You know, I’ve been a life-long Republican but I’ve never had any particular desire to run for office. In fact, if you asked me a year ago today what I wanted most in the world, I’d say for the world to leave me the heck alone. I like peace and comfort. But the world chose differently. And … it became kind of a calling.”
“I didn’t think that having three to five hundred angry rioters break down my gate was a good thing, but maybe in the long run it will turn out that way,” he added.
Jack Phillips contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times