The St. Louis couple who brandished guns at racial justice protestors walking past their mansion last summer pleaded guilty Thursday to misdemeanor charges, avoiding potential jail time on the felony charges they had been facing.
Patricia McCloskey, who had her finger on the trigger of the pistol she waved at the protestors, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was fined $2,000. Mark McCloskey, who held his semi-automatic rifle tightly to the wrong side of his chest, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was fined $750. Because the charges are misdemeanors, the couple, both of whom are personal injury attorneys, can continue practicing law in Missouri. They still could face professional sanctions for their admission to misdemeanor crimes. Missouri Supreme Court rules give the court the authority to suspend or revoke the couple’s law licenses.
Mark McCloskey, a Republican, has announced his candidacy for the senate seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Roy Blount. After Thursday’s plea deal was finalized in court, he was defiantly unapologetic about his actions last summer in remarks that sounded every bit like a campaign announcement.
“The prosecutor dropped every charge except for alleging that I purposely placed other people in imminent risk of physical injury, right, and I sure as heck did,” he said. “That’s what the guns were there for and I’d do it again any time the mob approaches me. … In other words, I stood out on the porch with my rifle and made them back up. And that’s what I’d do again. If that’s a crime in Missouri, by God I did it, and I’d do it again.”
Special prosecutor Richard Callahan, who opted to agree to reduced charges, said in a statement that he considered several factors when deciding how to resolve the case, including “the age and lack of a criminal record for the McCloskey’s, the fact they initially called the police, and the fact that no one was hurt and no shots were fired.”