A couple from St. Louis who gained national notoriety last year after being filmed pointing guns at protesters marching near their homes pleaded guilty on Thursday to a misdemeanor charge and agreed to pay a total nearly $ 3,000 in fines. The couple, both lawyers, also agreed to give up the weapons they had brandished during the clash.
Patricia McCloskey has pleaded guilty to second degree harassment and will pay a fine of $ 2,000. Her husband, Mark, who is running for a seat in the US Senate from Missouri, has pleaded guilty to fourth degree assault and will be fined $ 750.
As part of the plea deal, Ms McCloskey relinquished the Bryco handgun she wielded in the June 2020 confrontation, and Mr McCloskey agreed to relinquish ownership of the gun she was wielding. he used, an AR-15 rifle. Neither will face jail time under the plea agreement.
In a brief interview, Joel J. Schwartz, an attorney for the McCloskey, said, “They are very happy with the decision of the case and will see the fine paid as soon as possible and look forward to moving on with their lives and getting on with their lives. focus on his campaign for the US Senate.
Outside the courthouse, Mr. McCloskey agreed with prosecutors that he put the protesters at risk. “That’s what the guns were there for, and I would do it again whenever the crowd approached me,” he said.
Richard Callahan, the special prosecutor in charge of the case, said in a statement that the plea deal was reasonable, in part because no shots were fired, no one was injured and the McCloskey had called the police. “The protesters, on the other hand, were a racially mixed and peaceful group, comprising women and children, who simply took a wrong turn in protesting outside the mayor’s house,” Callahan said.
On June 28, 2020, protesters, many of them black, marched past the McCloskey’s home, which is on a private street, en route to the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson, a Democrat, who lives nearby. Ms Krewson had angered local residents after taking to Facebook Live and reading the names and addresses of people who said the police should be reimbursed.
The McCloskeys said they felt imminent danger from the protesters. Images of the couple pointing their guns at protesters have circulated widely, attracting national attention.
The day after the protest, President Donald J. Trump retweeted a video of the armed couple. In July, the St. Louis District Attorney’s Office filed felony charges against them. In August, they spoke at the Republican National Convention.
The couple claimed to have acted in self-defense, in order to prevent demonstrators from entering their homes and harming them. “I really thought it was the storming of the Bastille, that we would be dead and the house would be set on fire and there was nothing we could do about it,” Mr McCloskey told KSDK, a local television station, the last year. In an interview with Fox News, Mr McCloskey said, “We have chosen to keep them out.” Mr McCloskey also told KSDK: “My wife doesn’t know anything about guns” but felt compelled to defend their house.
Republicans and conservatives have rallied to the couple’s defense. Mr Trump later said the couple’s lawsuits were “a shame.” Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, a Republican, said the McCloskeys case “is a politically motivated attempt to punish this family for exercising their Second Amendment rights.”
The attention helped catapult Mr. McCloskey into politics. Last month, he announced he would run as a Republican for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Roy Blunt, a Republican, who had earlier announced that he would not stand for re-election next year.