Missouri judge rules McCloskeys won’t get guns or money back, despite being pardoned

St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Joan Moriarty has ruled Wednesday that Mark and Patricia McCloskey won’t receive their guns or fines back following their pardon for exercising their Second Amendment rights, brandishing weapons as BLM rioters invaded their property in 2020.

(Video Credit: FOX 2 St. Louis)

Gov. Mike Parson (R) pardoned the two attorneys last year who had pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault and second-degree harassment, both misdemeanors. They were charged after waving guns at Black Lives Matter protesters who had entered their private road in front of their home in June 2020.

Mark McCloskey filed a lawsuit in 2021 contending that he and his wife were entitled to the Colt AR-15 rifle and a Bryco .380-caliber they were forced to relinquish after their plea deal and the roughly $2,750 they were ordered to pay, according to Fox News. He argued that the governor’s pardon nullified all judgments and orders in the case.

Moriarty ruled that the pardon had “no bearing whatsoever on any of the terms of the negotiated plea agreement.”

“Plaintiff and his wife are required to follow through with their end of the bargain,” she wrote in her ruling.

“While the governor’s pardon does clear plaintiff’s record of the conviction, his guilt remains, and the terms of an agreement that predicated said guilt also remains,” Moriarty added.

In October 2020, the McCloskeys were indicted by a grand jury for unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with physical evidence in a felony prosecution. They were originally indicted on felony weapons charges for protecting themselves. They contended that they felt threatened that day and acted accordingly.

The Missouri government seized the couple’s guns and on June 21, the McClokeys paid their fine. Less than a month later, they were pardoned by the governor.

“There was no evidence that any of them had a weapon and no one I interviewed realized they had ventured onto a private enclave,” Richard Callahan, the special prosecutor who investigated the case said regarding the protesters in a news release.

No shots were fired and no one was hurt during the encounter. Callahan later determined the protesters were peaceful.

The McCloskeys certainly did not see it that way and there was no way they could know the protesters weren’t armed that were marching to the home of then-St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house to call for her resignation. The prosecutor’s argument appeared specious to many.

During the 2021 sentencing hearing for the attorneys, Judge David Mason asked Mark McCloskey if he acknowledged that his actions put people at risk of personal injury. He responded, “I sure did your honor.”

On the courthouse steps after the hearing, McCloskey, who was a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate at the time, said he’d do it again if faced with similar circumstances according to the Associated Press.

Earlier this year, the court suspended Mark and Patricia McCloskeys’ law licenses but delayed the suspension and put the two on probation for a year. The order means they can still practice law, but the suspension will take effect if they violate their probation by breaking any more laws.

Mark McCloskey says they will appeal the ruling.

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