(USA Features) Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parsons made good on an earlier pledge and pardoned a St. Louis couple who defended their home, armed, against a large group of Black Lives Matter protesters who had broken into their locked gated community.
Parsons pardoned Mark McCloskey, a lawyer who pleaded guilty in June to fourth-degree assault, which is a misdemeanor, and was fined $750.
The governor also pardoned McClosky’s wife, Patricia McCloskey, also an attorney, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and paid a $2,000 fine.
At the time of the incident, the McCloskeys said they were convinced that the mob was going to try to attack them and ransack their luxury home. The incident went viral on social and traditional media at the time.
“Mark McCloskey has publicly stated that if he were involved in the same situation, he would have the exact same conduct,” the McCloskeys’ lawyer Joel Schwartz said Tuesday.
“He believes that the pardon vindicates that conduct,” Schwartz added.
Mark McCloskey was holding an AR-15-style rifle while his wife emerged from their home with a semiautomatic handgun, the indictment noted.
There were no shots fired and no injuries. The crowd, seeing that the couple was armed, simply bypassed the home.
Special Missouri prosecutor Richard Callahan told the Associated Press that his investigators found that the protesters were peaceful.
“There was no evidence that any of them had a weapon and no one I interviewed realized they had ventured onto a private enclave,” he said in a news release after the McCloskeys pleaded guilty in court.
Following the adjudication of his case, Mark McCloskey, who is running for retiring a seat being vacated next year by U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said he would not do anything different.
“I’d do it again,” he said on the steps on the courthouse in St. Louis.
“Any time the mob approaches me, I’ll do what I can to put them in imminent threat of physical injury because that’s what kept them from destroying my house and my family,” McCloskey added.
Since both cases were misdemeanors, the McCloskeys were never in any danger of losing their law licenses or their right to own firearms.