Lawyers, Guns, and Indictments: Mark and Patricia McCloskey
The indictments were not really a surprise, but the added charges of tampering raised some eyebrows.
A grand jury indicted Mark and Patricia McCloskey Tuesday on charges of exhibiting guns at protesters in a June incident in their neighborhood and added a charge of tampering with evidence for both members of the couple.
The McCloskeys made national news when they pointed guns at protesters from the lawn of their home on Portland Place on June 28. A search warrant was served Friday night.
Their attorney, Joel Schwartz, said he wasn’t surprised by the indictment, saying the grand jury didn’t have all the facts.
“Once all the facts are out, it will be clear the McCloskeys committed no crime whatsoever,” Schwartz said. “Frankly because the grand jury is not an adversarial process and defense counsel are not allowed in there and I have no idea what was stated to the grand jury and what law was given to the grand jury.”
Mark and Patricia McCloskey had previously been charged with felony counts of exhibiting weapons–for pointing guns at protestors outside their central west end home. They have long maintained they were protecting themselves and their property from people hurling threats.
The grand jury also added a count for each of them: of tampering. This, News 4 learned, stems from the pistol held by Patricia McCloskey and later turned over to police by attorney Al Watkins.
In a voicemail to St. Louis Police Sgt. Detective Curtis Burgdorf, Assistant Circuit Attorney and Chief Warrant Officer Chris Hinckley, makes it clear, he’s frustrated.
That gun, Watkins said, had been rendered inoperable but a report obtained by News 4 from the St Louis Police Crime Lab showed that a prosecutor had instructed the examiners to re-assemble it correctly.
The McCloskeys were in court early Tuesday before the grand jury rendered their decision. Afterward, Mark McCloskey expressed frustration with the fact no protesters were charged in the incident.
Saying it would require only a “room temperature I.Q.” to understand why he was in possession of Patricia McCloskey’s handgun, attorney Al Watkins lashed back at a prosecutor who called him a “slimeball” in leaked messages.
“They broke down our gate, they trespassed on our property. Not a single one of those people are now charged with anything,” Mark McCloskey stated. “We’re charged with felonies that could cost us four years of our lives and our law license.”