McCloskey’s demand judge is removed for alleged political bias, couple’s lawyer says hearing was ‘worthwhile’

McCloskey’s demand judge is removed for alleged political bias, couple’s lawyer says hearing was ‘worthwhile’

October 28, 2020

McCloskeys join ‘Hannity’ to react to indictment

Mark and Patricia McCloskey join ‘Hannity’ after grand jury indicts them on gun charges.

A St. Louis couple charged with unlawful use of a weapon during a confrontation with protesters over the summer returned to court on Wednesday asking a judge to disqualify the city's top prosecutor from the case because of her alleged political motivation.  

The couple's court appearance comes after a grand jury indicted Mark McCloskey, 63, and Patricia McCloskey, 61, earlier this month on charges of unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with evidence.

FILE: Mark and Patricia McCloskey leave following a court hearing in St. Louis. 
(AP)

The court issued no ruling on Wednesday, but the couple's attorney, Joel Schwartz, said he thought "a lot of worthwhile came out of" the hearing. 

"It was a motion to disqualify (Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner) based on the appearance of impropriety. Essentially that she politicized these charges," Schwartz told Fox News. 

Asked to gauge whether he thought the court was more favorable to the McCloskey’s or Gardner, Schwartz said: “We’ll find out in a week or so.”

The McCloskeys' attorney, Joel Schwartz, has previously cited emails referencing the case that were sent to potential donors ahead of Gardner's primary election victory in August.

Gardner's office responded that the "fundraising emails establish her interest was only in pushing back against Republican attacks on her and her prosecutorial authority — which have nothing to do with the defendants."

The McCloskeys gained national attention in late June for brandishing firearms at protesters who had veered onto the private street near their home in St. Louis' posh Central West End area. The confrontation came at the height of nationwide unrest sparked by the police custody death of George Floyd a month prior in Minneapolis. 

Mark McCloskey emerged with an AR-15 rifle, and his wife displayed a semiautomatic handgun. The confrontation was captured on cellphone video.

No shots were fired, but Gardner, a Democrat, filed the weapons charge, alleging the McCloskeys' actions risked creating violence during what she deemed an otherwise peaceful protest.

The McCloskeys contend they were simply defending their home, in accordance with the law. They also contend that the demonstration was anything but peaceful given that the protesters broke through an iron gate and appeared threatening. Protest organizers say the marchers were not threatening and didn't break the gate.

The evidence tampering charge was added by the grand jury. The indictment alleges that the couple altered a semiautomatic pistol "to impair its verity" in the investigation.

Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has said he will pardon the McCloskeys if they are convicted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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