St. Louis couple indicted for pulling guns on BLM protesters

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FILE – In this June 28, 2020 file photo, armed homeowners Mark and Patricia McCloskey, standing in front their house along Portland Place confront protesters marching to St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house in the Central West End of St. Louis. President Donald Trump believes St. Louis’ top prosecutor committed an “egregious abuse of power” in charging a couple who displayed guns during a protest outside their mansion, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Tuesday, JULY 21, 2020. (Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP File)

ST. LOUIS (NEXSTAR) – A grand jury returned indictments against the St. Louis couple that rose to national fame after brandishing firearms at Black Lives Matter protesters in front of their home.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey appeared in court for a very brief hearing Tuesday, where a judge announced the case was continued until Oct. 14. Afterward, their attorney, Joel Schwartz, said the continuation of just eight days likely means that the grand jury decision is drawing near.

The news came faster than any might have imagined. KTVI has confirmed that the couple was indicted on two counts each: exhibiting guns at a protest and tampering with a weapon.

The McCloskeys’ home is located near the scene of demonstrations that broke out in St. Louis on June 28th in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody. Several hundred people were marching to the home of Democratic Mayor Lyda Krewson, a few blocks from the McCloskeys’ home. Krewson had angered activists by reading on Facebook Live the names and addresses of some who had called for defunding police.

The McCloskeys live on a private street called Portland Place. A police report said the couple heard a loud commotion and saw a large group of people break an iron gate marked with “No Trespassing” and “Private Street” signs. A protest leader, the Rev. Darryl Gray, said the gate was open and that protesters didn’t damage it.

Mark McCloskey confronted protesters with a semi-automatic rifle, screamed at them and pointed the weapon at them, according to a probable statement from police officer Curtis Burgdorf. The statement said Patricia McCloskey then emerged with a semi-automatic handgun, yelling at protesters to “go” and pointing the gun at them. Protesters feared “being injured due to Patricia McCloskey’s finger being on the trigger, coupled with her excited demeanor,” the statement said.

Photos emerged as memes on both sides of the gun debate. The couple’s resulting fame earned them a speaking role at the 2020 Republican National Convention.

The McCloskeys have said they feared for their safety and their attorney, Schwartz, argued that they are not guilty of any felony offenses. No shots were ever fired.

“What you’re witnessing here in this case is just an opportunity for the government, the leftist, Democrat government of the city of St. Louis to persecute us for doing no more than exercising our Second Amendment rights,” Mark McCloskey said of the case. “Every single human being who was in front of my house was a criminal trespasser.”

Trespassing ordinance violation charges were eventually dropped against nine of the protestors. Schwartz called that “illuminating” saying that the protestors were on the McCloskey’s property.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson has previously said that he would pardon the McCloskeys if they’re convicted because they were protecting their home.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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