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St. Louis couple charged with unlawful use of weapon felony

Armed couple points guns at St. Louis protesters as they march toward mayor's home
Posted at 4:56 PM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 17:56:34-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A St. Louis couple who made national headlines for brandishing weapons outside their home as a protest marched by in late June have been charged with a felony for their actions.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner filed charges for unlawful use of a weapon, a Class D felony, Monday against Mark and Patricia McCloskey.

"It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner at those participating in a nonviolent protest, and while we are fortunate this situation did not escalate into deadly force, this type of conduct is unacceptable in St. Louis," Gardner said Monday in a statement obtained by St. Louis TV station KSDK-TV. "The decision to issue charges was made after a thorough investigation with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department."

Last week, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said he would likely pardon the couple if they were ever convicted. He also said he had briefed President Trump about the situation.

“I think the president and the attorney general of the United States (William Barr) are going to take a look at it,” Parson said last Tuesday.

Sen. Josh Hawley, who is a Missouri Republican like Parson, asked Barr to launch a civil rights investigation into Gardner's conduct last week before charges were filed, according to The Associated Press.

Among the 10 possible violations under Missouri's unlawful use of a weapon statue, one states that it is illegal if anyone "exhibits, in the presence of one or more persons, any weapon readily capable of lethal use in an angry or threatening manner."

A Class D felony in Missouri is punishable by up to seven years in prison or one year in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.