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Missouri Gov. Mike Parsons pardons St. Louis couple who waved guns at protesters

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday pardoned Mark McCloskey and Patricia McCloskey after they pleaded guilty to charges related to brandishing weapons at protesters outside their home in St. Louis last year. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday pardoned Mark McCloskey and Patricia McCloskey after they pleaded guilty to charges related to brandishing weapons at protesters outside their home in St. Louis last year. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday issued pardons to a St. Louis couple who brandished weapons at Black Lives Matter protesters last year.

Parson pardoned Mark McCloskey and Patricia McCloskey after they pleaded guilty to assault and harassment charges last month for the June 2020 incident at their home.

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Mark McCloskey pointed an AR-15 at protesters while his wife waved a semiautomatic handgun as protesters walked through the gated community of Portland Place on their way to the mayor's home.

Last month, Mark McCloskey, 64, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault and was fined $750. Patricia McCloskey, 62, pleaded guilty to second-degree harassment and will pay a $2,000 fine and neither was sentenced to jail time.

They were also ordered to forfeit their weapons.

The couple previously pleaded not guilty to more serious charges, but a new plea agreement was reached after special prosecutor Richard Callahan amended charges.

In court proceedings, the couple said they felt threatened by the protesters, who they accused of breaking down an iron gate and ignoring a "no trespassing" sign.

Protesters said the demonstration was peaceful and Callahan said they "simply made a wrong turn on their way to protest in front of the mayor's house," adding there was no evidence any of the protesters were armed.

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Since the incident, the McCloskeys gained national attention, including a speaking slot at the Republican National Convention and in May, Mark McCloskey announced a run for the Missouri state Senate.

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