Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced Tuesday that he granted pardons for Mark and Patricia McCloskey, a couple that faced misdemeanor charges for waving firearms at protesters who trespassed onto their property.
Parson granted twelve pardons and commuted two sentences July 30 to Missouri citizens facing criminal charges under Article IV, Section 7 of the Constitution of the State of Missouri, which gives the governor the power to grant pardons to all criminal offenses except for treason and impeachment, according to a Tuesday press release.
Viral footage from June 28, 2020, captured the McCloskeys each wielding firearms at a group of protesters that trespassed onto their St. Louis property. The couple pleaded guilty June 17 to misdemeanor charges. Mark pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was charged with a $750 fine and Patricia to misdemeanor harassment and with a $2,000 fine.
Mark used an AK-47-style rifle while Patricia held a semiautomatic pistol and demanded that the demonstrators leave their property, footage showed, according to the Associated Press. The married couple, who both practice law, had to forfeit the firearms used during the incident. (RELATED: After Being Forced To Forfeit Their Guns, The McCloskeys Show Off A New AR-15)
— Jason Rosenbaum (@jrosenbaum) August 3, 2021
Parson previously told Fox News host Sean Hannity July 20 that he would “without a doubt” pardon the McCloskeys, arguing that they are “law-abiding citizens,” Fox News reported.
“I will do everything within the Constitution of the State of Missouri to protect law-abiding citizens and those people are exactly that,” the governor said. “They are law-abiding citizens, and they’re being attacked frankly by a political process that’s really unfortunate.”
Following the plea hearing, Mark appeared to have no regrets regarding the incident, saying he would “do it again” in order to defend himself.
“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,” he said in a statement obtained by the Daily Caller. “That’s exactly what I did, that’s what the guns were for.”
“Any time the mob comes and threatens me, I’ll do the same thing again to protect my family.”
Special prosecutor Richard Callahan stated in a June news release that the protesters were peaceful and were unaware that they entered private property, AP reported.
“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.
The couple was indicted by a grand jury facing felony charges for the unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering in October. After reviewing the evidence of the case, Callahan amended the charges against the McCloskeys by indicting them with a misdemeanor harassment charge as an alternative to the weapons charge in May, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.