A Missouri couple who held guns outside their home when a group of protesters entered their private St. Louis neighborhood in June 2020 were put on probation as attorneys Tuesday by the Missouri Supreme Court and could have their licenses suspended if they violate the terms.
Mark McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault over the incident involving Black Lives Matter protesters and paid a $750 fine. His wife, Patricia McCloskey, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine.
The couple was pardoned by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson last year.
“I think the reason why we were asked to be suspended had more to do with politics than anything else,” McCloskey said. “But we respect the Supreme Court’s opinion, although we disagree. … We will comply 100% with the orders.”
McCloskey said he and his wife were shocked by the charges “for doing what we thought was right.” They have said they felt threatened by the protesters when they brought out an AR-15-style rifle and a semi-automatic pistol.
The court gave the McCloskeys a delayed suspension on their licenses, meaning it would go into effect if they violate their parole.
The suspension had been sought by the office headed by Missouri Chief Disciplinary Counsel Alan Pratzel, which oversees ethical complaints against Missouri lawyers.
“The folks that support me know what I did, why I did it and support me for having done it,” McCloskey said.
The motion for the suspension noted the pardon but said “the person’s guilt remains.”
In their ruling the judges said despite the pardon, the couple “committed a misdemeanor offense involving moral turpitude.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.