Mark and Patricia McCloskey’s story has made national news but there are still a wide range of additional developments taking place. For starters, the couple is currently facing felony charges for stepping outside of their home with guns during a protest on a private street in their neighborhood. The protesters were headed for the mayor’s house.
A new wrinkle has emerged and it does not look good for the couple. The authorities are filing unlawful use charges against the McCloskeys and they are bending the rules to do it. In order to file these charges, the police have to prove that the couple’s guns were actually posing a threat. This would be difficult to prove under normal circumstances.
Of course, the circumstances that surround this case are anything but normal. The authorities are dying to put this couple behind bars and they do not care how ridiculous they look in the process. The guns were taken away from the couple, which should have been the end of it. When the police tested out Patricia’s gun, they found that the firearm did not even work.
So why is this case still open? An assistant circuit attorney made a very bizarre order. The gun was sent to a crime lab, where it would be taken apart and put back together again. Once the gun was reassembled, it was able to fire. When the charging documents were filed, the phrase “readily capable of lethal use” stood out.
The gun Patricia McCloskey waved at protesters was inoperable when it arrived at the St. Louis police crime lab, but a member of Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s staff ordered crime lab experts to disassemble and reassemble it and wrote that it was “readily capable of lethal use” in charging documents filed Monday, 5 On Your Side has learned.
In Missouri, police and prosecutors must prove that a weapon is “readily” capable of lethal use when it is used in the type of crime with which the McCloskeys have been charged.
Assistant Circuit Attorney Chris Hinckley ordered crime lab staff members to field strip the handgun and found it had been assembled incorrectly. Specifically, the firing pin spring was put in front of the firing pin, which was backward, and made the gun incapable of firing, according to documents obtained by 5 On Your Side.
How could a gun that was not in working order at the time be “readily capable of lethal use”? It’s a good question. Assistant Circuit Attorney Chris Hinckley is the man who is directly responsible for the charges. If not for his trickery, the case would have already faded from the public’s attention. There is simply too much going on for anyone to keep monitoring the ins and outs of some random case.
The couple is striking back against the charges, saying that the gun was intentionally dissembled, so that it would not actually be operational. Essentially, the gun was being used a prop and now the couple is facing felony charges because of it. When the gun was taken outside, they were well aware of this fact.
“There will be some revelations that come out about that,” said Mark McCloskey when the question came up during his appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show. He probably expected the case to be dropped when the couple’s gun was proven to be non-operational. They never could have expected the legal chicanery that would unfold after the guns were seized from their property.
“It’s disheartening to learn that a law enforcement agency altered evidence in order to prosecute an innocent member of the community,” said the McCloskeys’ attorney in a recent statement. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner is not going to matter by the time the week is over because Missouri Governor Mike Parson is more than happy to pardon the couple if they are convicted.
At least they have one person who matters in their corner. If the governor was not willing to step in, we shudder to think of what would happen next. There’s also a law professor from St. Louis University who is speaking out on the couple’s behalf. They believe that the case will be dropped because the couple was merely protecting their property, which is allowed under the castle doctrine. The protesters were marching in a private area.
No one seems to remember that part when they are in a rush to make villains out of this couple. They were spooked and defended their home in the only way that they knew how. Now, they are going to be forced to go through all sorts of hoops in order to preserve their freedom. It seems a bit excessive for a gun that was not even in working order at the time but what do we know?