The St. Louis couple who were seen holding firearms as Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists approached their home pleaded guilty to several misdemeanor charges and surrendered their guns.
Mark McCloskey, a lawyer, pleaded guilty to a Class C misdemeanor of fourth-degree assault, while his wife, Patricia McCloskey, pleaded guilty to a Class A misdemeanor of second-degree harassment. They will pay the maximum fines of $2,000 and $750, and they won’t serve any jail time.
More notably, however, the two will be forced to forfeit the weapons they were holding when they confronted BLM protesters who were marching near their home last summer.
On Thursday evening, following the guilty pleas, Mark McCloskey told Newsmax why the couple pleaded the way they did.
“[Prosecutors] dropped all the felony charges, all the gun charges, and charged me with a crime that said I purposely placed other people in apprehension of imminent fear of physical injury—and, by God, I did it,” McCloskey said.
“That’s what the Second Amendment was there for, and I couldn’t say no to that one,” he added. “That’s what the guns were for. The guns were there to scare people off and make sure they didn’t approach us. And that’s what the guns did,” he continued.
The two have claimed in media interviews that the protesters were trespassing and noted that Black Lives Matter protesters in St. Louis and other cities have committed arson and have engaged in acts of violence. The couple previously pleaded not guilty and were slated to go to trial in November of this year.
The BLM protesters told them “that they were going to kill us,” said Patricia McCloskey last year.
“They were going to come in there. They were going to burn down the house,” she said, recalling what the demonstrators said. “They were going to be living in our house after I was dead, and they were pointing to different rooms and said, ‘That’s going to be my bedroom, and that’s going to be the living room, and I’m going to be taking a shower in that room.'”
But Richard Callahan, a local prosecutor, alleged that some of their claims were unfounded.
“There was no evidence that any of [the protesters] had a weapon and no one I interviewed realized they had ventured into a private enclave,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
The couple gained popularity among conservatives after photos taken by media outlets last year showed Mark McCloskey, who was wearing a pink polo shirt and holding a rifle, and Patricia McCloskey, who was holding a small silver handgun, outside their property in front of dozens of protesters.
The McCloskeys later appeared at the Republican National Convention and endorsed President Donald Trump for reelection. Mark McCloskey has since launched a campaign to run for Missouri’s Senate seat.
In May, when announcing his campaign, he wrote: “An angry mob marched to destroy my home and kill my family, I took a stand to defend them. I am a proven fighter against the mob … When the mob comes to destroy our home, our state, our nation—I’ll defend it.”
He wrote: “I will NEVER BACK DOWN … Help me FIGHT BACK.”
Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who had charged both of them, was later removed from a role in their case after a judge in late 2020 ruled that she appeared to have started prosecution against the two for political purposes.
The Epoch Times has contacted Mark McCloskey for comment on the guilty pleas.