A St. Louis grand jury handed down indictments against Mark and Patricia McCloskey, charged in July with brandishing weapons at protesters outside the couple’s Portland Place mansion, reported the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The couple was indicted on felony charges of unlawful
use of a weapon and evidence tampering. The indictments were filed under seal
Tuesday. St. Louis Circuit Clerk Thomas Kloeppinger said a judge ordered the
indictments suppressed but Kloeppinger didn’t know the reason.
The grand jury added a count of evidence tampering
after the Circuit Attorney’s Office in July charged the McCloskeys each with one count of unlawful use of a
weapon — exhibiting.
A spokeswoman for Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner
could not be reached.
The McCloskeys’ lawyer Joel Schwartz said he didn’t
know specifics about the charges but said he’s not surprised a grand jury
indicted his clients.
“I’ll certainly be interested in what was presented to
the grand jury,” said Schwartz, who plans to request a transcript or recording
of the proceedings, if such records were made.
Since their encounter with protesters this summer, the
couple has gained national notoriety through appearances on Fox News and CNN,
and by speaking at the Republican National Convention in August.
Earlier Tuesday, a St. Louis judge postponed the
McCloskeys’ morning court appearance until next Wednesday.
The charges filed in July say that on June 28, Mark
McCloskey, 63, pointed an AR-15 rifle at protesters and Patricia McCloskey, 61,
wielded a semiautomatic handgun, placing protesters in fear of injury.
Outside the Carnahan Courthouse on Tuesday, Mark
McCloskey criticized the City Counselor’s Office for opting against prosecuting protesters for trespassing in
Portland Place, a private, gated street. Nine protesters were initially served
police summonses, but City Counselor Michael Garvin said on Sept. 29 that
trespassing charges would not be pursued.
“The government chooses to persecute us for doing no
more than exercising our right to defend ourselves, our home, our property and
our family and now we’re getting drug here time after time after time and for
what?” Mark McCloskey said. “We didn’t fire a shot. People were violently
protesting in front of our house and screaming death threats and threats of
rape and threats of arson. Nobody gets charged but we get charged.”
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