A Missouri Court of Appeals judge denied St. Louis prosecutor Kim Gardner’s appeal challenging the disqualification of her office from prosecuting Mark McCloskey.
The decision upholds Judge Thomas Clark II’s ruling from December that removed Gardner and her office from prosecuting the case after emails from Gardner showed she used the case for fundraising, according to KY3.
Friday’s ruling only applies to Mark, but attorneys for the couple are trying to have the decision also apply to Patricia McCloskey, according to the report.
Gardner is expected to appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court, according to KY3.
Gardner referenced the McCloskeys in a series of campaign emails, with one email accusing President Donald Trump and Republican Gov. Mike Parson of “fighting for the two who pointed guns at citizens during the Black Lives Matter protests,” according to KSDK.
One of the emails was sent 48 hours after she announced she would bring charges against the couple. Emails were sent between July 17 and July 23, according to the report. During that time she reportedly raked in more than $17,000. (RELATED: Gov. Mike Parson: Over 100 St. Louis Murders Go Uncharged While Kim Gardner Charges McCloskeys)
The couple’s attorney, Joel Schwartz, argued that the emails jeopardized their right to a fair trial, KSDK reported.
A special prosecutor can still be applied to the case, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The St. Louis couple brandished weapons outside their home during a Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest over the summer. The couple alleged protesters began harassing and threatening the couple while the group of protesters made their way to the mayor’s house.
In a video posted to social media, peaceful protesters in St. Louis calling for police reforms walked past a couple brandishing firearms as they were ordered to stay away from the couple’s home https://t.co/bYl06iAiTo pic.twitter.com/wOZ1Wr3yac
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 29, 2020
The duo pled not guilty in October to charges of unlawful use of a weapon, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.