On Friday, Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson pardoned Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple convicted of misdemeanor charges after confronting Black Lives Matter protesters outside their St. Louis home in June of 2020.
Parson’s office announced the pardons in a press release Tuesday night. The McCloskey pair were two among 12 people Parson granted pardon. Parson also commuted the sentences of two other people.
Prosecutors initially charged the McCloskeys with felony unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering, but the pair pled not guilty to the evidence tampering charges and charges were revised down to misdemeanors.
Mark pled guilty to a Class C misdemeanor of 4th-degree assault and faced a $750 fine and no jail time. Patricia McCloskey plead guilty to a Class A misdemeanor of second-degree harassment and was fined $2,000 and will also not face any jail time. Along with their fines, the McCloskeys also agreed to give up the firearms they used in the armed confrontation with protestors.
Richard Callahan, a veteran judge and former U.S. attorney, was appointed special prosecutor in the McCloskey’s case in December after Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner used the case in her political fundraising emails, creating an appearance of impropriety.
Callahan said he felt the misdemeanor plea was reasonable as the McCloskeys called the police, no shots were fired and no one was hurt, though he felt “their conduct was a little unreasonable in the end.”
Parson previously signaled in July of 2020 that he would be willing to offer a pardon to the couple and on Friday he fulfilled that offer.
Mark McCloskey tweeted a statement thanking Parson for the pardon. “Gov Parsons Pardons McCloskeys.”
“We are grateful for Gov. Mike Parson’s support in granting Patty and me a pardon for the political prosecution of defending our lives against the angry mob,” Mark’s statement began. “It was actually Gov. Parson who led the charge as a state senator and passed the legislation known as the Castle Doctrine that guarantees Missourians the right to defend themselves with all necessary force. While Patty and I appreciate the governor’s pardon, there is still work to be done. In our case, the circuit attorney raided our home a year ago and seized the two guns involved in the defense of our home. Despite repeated requests and the later dropping of the charges used to seize our guns and now our pardon, St. Louis will not return our weapons. We believe this is wrong and in direct conflict with our Second Amendment rights. We are calling the Missouri General Assembly to pass legislation fixing this broken piece of law and protect Missourians’ constitutional rights. We are eager to help Gov. Parson and the General Assembly strengthen Missouri’s Castle Doctrine Law.”