World News – CA – St Louis couple charged with waving guns at protesters


ST LOUIS – A grand jury indicted on Tuesday the St. Louis couple who showed weapons as hundreds of racial injustice protesters marched through their private street

Al Watkins, an attorney for the couple, confirmed to The Associated Press the indictments against Mark McCloskey, 63, and Patricia McCloskey, 61 A spokeswoman for District Attorney Kim Gardner declined to comment

The McCloskeys, who are both lawyers, became popular heroes among some conservatives They claim they were simply exercising their right to bear arms under the Second Amendment and were protected by the the Missouri Castle doctrine which allows the use of lethal force against intruders The case caught the attention of President Donald Trump and the Republican government of Missouri Mike Parson said he would forgive the couple if convicted

The McCloskeys were also guest speakers on the first night of the Republican National Convention They blamed “left” Democrat St. Louis leadership for their plight

Gardner, a Democrat, indicted the couple for unlawful use of a weapon She said the gun display risked spilling blood in what she called an otherwise peaceful protest

Watkins said that in addition to the weapons charge, the grand jury indictment includes a charge of tampering with evidence What led to this additional tally was unclear, a- he declared

The McCloskeys say the protest was hardly peaceful They say the protesters arrived on the private street after knocking down an iron door and ignoring a ‘No Trespassing’ sign, and said they were felt threatened

Watkins said the accusations against the McCloskeys « do demonstrate the highest degree of ineptitude and inappropriate behavior » on the part of Gardner’s office

The incident happened on June 28 as protesters marched towards Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house a few blocks away.They suddenly decided to veer into McCloskeys Street, prompting the confrontation which was filmed on a cell phone It showed Mark McCloskey in front of the $ 115 million households armed with an AR-15 rifle and Patricia McCloskey with a semi-automatic handgun

A police statement on probable causes said protesters feared « they would be injured due to Patricia McCloskey’s trigger finger, coupled with her excited demeanor »

Nine people involved in the protest were charged with trespassing, but the city council’s office later dropped the charges The city councilor’s office deals with minor crimes and is not affiliated with the district prosecutor’s office

Mark McCloskey, after a brief court hearing earlier on Tuesday, expressed his anger that he and his wife faced criminal charges when those who entered his property did not made

« Every human being in front of my house was a criminal intruder, » said McCloskey « They broke our door They trespassed on our property Not a single one of these people is now charged with anything We are accused of crimes that could cost us four years of our lives and our legal licenses « 

The June protest in St. Louis was among hundreds of people across the country after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press All rights reserved This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission


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