Missouri residents Mark and Patricia McCloskey were thrust into the national spotlight last year after they displayed firearms to deter a mob of protesters approaching their property.
The husband and wife subsequently faced criminal charges, ultimately opting to plead guilty to misdemeanor charges — but now Republican Gov. Mike Parsons has issued pardons for both of them.
The McCloskeys face charges
According to Fox News, the pardons were announced without further explanation and were among a dozen such reprieves, along with two commutations, handed down by the governor on Friday.
In June 2020, a group of protesters aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement entered through the gate of the McCloskeys’ private neighborhood, prompting the couple’s armed response.
— Daniel Shular (@xshularx) June 29, 2020
In the aftermath of that incident, the pair was celebrated by many on the right and vilified by the far-left. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner came down hard on them with felony charges including weapons offenses and evidence tampering.
The prosecutor was subsequently removed from the case, resulting in a plea deal in which Mark McCloskey pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree assault charge and his wife pleaded guilty to harassment. They paid fines of $750 and 2,000, respectively.
Gov. Parsons steps in
In response to the governor’s recent action, Mark McCloskey released a statement expressing gratitude for the pardon.
“As many of you know, Patty and I face political prosecution for having the audacity to defend our lives and property from an angry mob,” he wrote. “Today we are incredibly thankful that Governor Mike Parsons righted this wrong and granted us pardons.”
McCloskey further thanked the governor for his support for the Second Amendment and prior work in the state Senate to approve so-called “castle doctrine” laws allowing Missourians to use armed force to defend their property.
Nevertheless, he noted that “there is still work to be done,” noting that despite lawful protections, their firearms had been seized and they faced charges from an overzealous prosecutor.
Of course, McCloskey has attempted to capitalize on his notoriety by launching a bid to represent the state as a Republican in the U.S. Senate.