ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Mark and Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to lesser charges on Thursday afternoon rather than the initial felony charges they were faced with.
Last summer, the couple’s private neighborhood was broken into by rioters. After threats of violence from the mob, the McCloskeys stepped outside holding firearms in an attempt to scare the protestors away.
Mark McCloskey pleaded guilty to a Class C misdemeanor of fourth-degree assault which was filed in court Thursday. He originally faced two felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with physical evidence.
Patricia McCloskey, initially charged with the same two felonies, pleaded guilty to a Class A misdemeanor of second-degree harassment, which was filed last month after the count of tampering with physical evidence was removed.
The plea deal called for Mr. McCloskey to pay a $750 fine while Mrs. McCloskey was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine with an additional $10 going to the crime victims fund. The plea deal also included the couple forfeiting the firearms they were holding during the incident to the state to be destroyed.
The McCloskeys originally pleaded not guilty and were set to begin trial on Nov. 1.
The couple have since garnered an increasing amount of media attention nationwide after the incident and received support from notable conservatives such as President Donald Trump, Gov. Mike Parson and the majority of pro-Second Amendment organizations.
In October of last year, right after the initial charges were filed, Parson said that he “most certainly would” pardon the couple if they received a conviction. It is unclear if Parson still plans to do so as the charges have been lessened and a guilty plea was entered.
“We are evaluating the situation but have yet to receive any official documents,” Kelli Jones, Communications Director for the Governor’s office, said on Thursday.
Mr. McCloskey has used the news coverage surrounding he and his wife and announced his bid for the 2022 U.S. Senate race in May of this year. Mr. McCloskey’s statement on the recent guilty plea to lesser charges is below:
“One year ago, an angry mob crashed through my gate, and threatened my wife, my family, and my home. The prosecutor dropped all charges against me, except for a claim that I put other people in imminent fear of physical harm. That’s exactly what I did, that’s what the guns were for. And any time the mob comes and threatens me, I’ll do the same thing again to protect my family. I will never back down to the liberal mob in the Senate, and I will always stand strong for Missouri.”
Mr. McCloskey took to Twitter and participated in interviews after the guilty plea to share his thoughts on the day’s events.
“Let me be clear, I am not surrendering any of my other firearms!” he wrote in a tweet. “I will continue to be one of the strongest advocates for #2A in MO and around the country.”
He went on to explain that the two weapons that were seized from him were evidence in a criminal case and per Missouri state law, they must be confiscated and incinerated.
Mr. McCloskey also appeared on Greg Kelly Reports on Thursday to discuss the incident last summer, the guilty plea and the possibility of a pardon from Gov. Parson.
“I would like for him to do that but it’s entirely up to the Governor,” he said on the show when asked about the potential for a pardon. “He has said he would but I’ll leave it up to the Governor. He’s a great guy and a great governor and he’s done wonderful things for the state of Missouri.”
Missourians can expect a statement from Parson soon on if he will decide to pardon the couple for the lesser charges or not.