Missouri governor Mike Parson announced Tuesday that he had pardoned Mark McCloskey and Patricia McCloskey, the armed St. Louis couple who confronted Black Lives Matter protesters outside their mansion last year.
The Republican governor pardoned the pair on Friday. Mark McCloskey pleaded guilty in June to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was fined $750, while Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was fined $2,000.
“Mark McCloskey has publicly stated that if he were involved in the same situation, he would have the exact same conduct,” said Joel Schwartz, the McCloskeys’ lawyer. “He believes that the pardon vindicates that conduct.”
As the charges were misdemeanors, the couple did not face the possibility of losing their law licenses or their rights to own firearms. However, they had previously agreed to forfeit the weapons they brandished as hundreds of protesters, who were trespassing in their gated community, stood outside their home last June yelling threats at them.
Mark McCloskey stood on the lawn of their home screaming and pointing a semiautomatic rifle at protesters. His wife then joined him with a semiautomatic handgun, yelling at protesters to “go” and pointing it at them. No shots were fired.
Many have defended the McCloskeys, saying they were legally protecting their $1.15 million house.
The couple heard a loud commotion and saw a large group of people break an iron gate marked with “No Trespassing” and “Private Street” signs, according to a police report.
However, special prosecutor Richard Callahan said his investigation found that the protesters were peaceful.
“There was no evidence that any of them had a weapon and no one I interviewed realized they had ventured onto a private enclave,” Callahan said in a statement after the McCloskeys pleaded guilty in June.
At the time of the incident, the pair received support from then-President Trump, who called the charges against them “disgraceful.” They were also invited to speak at last year’s Republican National Convention.
Mark McCloskey launched a bid for a U.S. Senate seat in Missouri last month.
“Mark is a Conservative outsider who will bring backbone and guts to the US Senate to continue fighting for President Trump’s agenda,” his website says.