Activist Prosecutor Charges McCloskeys for Self Defense
Posted: 2020-07-20 10:10:05    (see more from

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has charged Mark and Patricia McCloskey for protecting themselves against a violent mob in June. The couple, who armed themselves after a mob broke through the private gate and trespassed onto private property while reportedly yelling threats, were charged with brandishing a weapon, a class D felony that could bring prison time and a $5,000 fine. The mob was going to protest city mayor Lyda Krewson in front of her home, except that Krewson doesn’t live on the McCloskey’s street.

I wrote of the couple’s handling the night of the incident here (and later here). As I included then, it’s weak sauce to act like marching through residential neighborhoods isn’t an escalation of tactics we’ve seen the past month where daytime protests diminish into nighttime riots (and sometimes in broad daylight, too) with businesses looted and burned, people attacked, and threats of going to people’s homes — this all coupled with Democrats’s new “defund the police” policy. Just earlier in my hometown, not more than a 15 minute drive from that stately city CWE home seen above, people had the hell beaten out of them over a statue. Retired police captain David Dorn was murdered minutes from the McCloskey’s home, just a short trip down Kingshighway.

An interesting note:

Watkins told reporters the pistol Patricia McCloskey used was only a prop from a federal trial that the couple used in a case. Both of them are attorneys.
A source familiar with the investigation told 5 On Your Side that police did not find any ammunition at the McCloskey’s home and the rifle was not loaded when they seized it.

As I understand it, which the NBC affiliate mentions, Gardner has to prove that the McCloskey’s were even capable of lethal force, which if the guns weren’t loaded and they had no ammunition in the house for said guns, they weren’t capable of defensive lethal force using a firearm in the first place. A reminder: Missouri is a castle doctrine state, meaning you have no duty to retreat if someone trespasses into your home with intent to do you harm. Missouri’s castle doctrine is a bit broader than that of other states as it includes private property (like your vehicle, for instance), not just your home or “If the person is in any other location such person has the right to be.” The actual law [bold my emphasis]:

2. A person shall not use deadly force upon another person under the circumstances specified in subsection 1 of this section unless:

(1) He or she reasonably believes that such deadly force is necessary to protect himself, or herself or her unborn child, or another against death, serious physical injury, or any forcible felony;

(2) Such force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle lawfully occupied by such person; or

(3) Such force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter private property that is owned or leased by an individual, or is occupied by an individual who has been given specific authority by the property owner to occupy the property, claiming a justification of using protective force under this section.

3. A person does not have a duty to retreat:

(1) From a dwelling, residence, or vehicle where the person is not unlawfully entering or unlawfully remaining;

(2) From private property that is owned or leased by such individual; or

(3) If the person is in any other location such person has the right to be.

4. The justification afforded by this section extends to the use of physical restraint as protective force provided that the actor takes all reasonable measures to terminate the restraint as soon as it is reasonable to do so.

5. The defendant shall have the burden of injecting the issue of justification under this section. If a defendant asserts that his or her use of force is described under subdivision (2) of subsection 2 of this section, the burden shall then be on the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not reasonably believe that the use of such force was necessary to defend against what he or she reasonably believed was the use or imminent use of unlawful force.

In order to see these charges to a conviction, Gardner will be forced to address the lawlessness of the mob. Honestly, I don’t see how this holds up in court, given that violent riots preceding the McCloskey incident saw four cops shot and one retired cop murdered (again, minutes from their home), in addition to arson and businesses damaged. Of course people are going to think trouble is coming when a mob busts down a gate and trespasses into a clearly marked as entirely private community. I’ve seen the idea posited that the McCloskey’s can’t cite castle doctrine as it cannot be interpreted to mean lethal force may apply just because someone stepped on your lawn — the mob didn’t just step on the McCloskey’s lawn, they broke through a gate before trespassing into an entirely private neighborhood on a private street that the McCloskey’s and other street residents pay themselves to maintain. Thus, why it’s a private street. I’ve discussed my hometown’s odd history of private streets and gated communities before on air; you can listen in the below linked videos from the video simulcast of my radio program.

I spoke with the Missouri AG Eric Schmitt over a week ago on my radio show:

Here is my interview last week with Mark McCloskey, who was anticipating being charged:

Missouri Governor Mike Parson, who co-sponsored the state’s castle doctrine expansion while a member of the state legislature, says he’d likely pardon the McCloskeys if convicted.