For the prosecutor who has decided to file felony charges against the couple, that’s not a problem. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner ordered technicians to make the guns operable.
But a story breaking today shows another big problem in the case and it’s pretty troubling.
When the gun that Patricia McCloskey had was turned over to the authorities, it was inoperable and inoperable when it arrived at the St. Louis Police crime lab.
According to the McCloskey’s attorney, Joel Schwartz, the gun was inoperable during the incident in question with the protesters and couldn’t have hurt anyone. The McCloskeys, who are both attorneys, had used the gun as a prop during a trial.
So here’s the problem, as KSDK reports.
In Missouri, police and prosecutors must prove that a weapon is “readily” capable of lethal use when it used in the type of crime with which the McCloskeys have been charged.
At the request of Assistant Circuit Attorney Chris Hinckley, crime lab staff members field stripped the handgun and found it had been assembled incorrectly. Specifically, the firing pin spring was put in front of the firing pin, which was backward, and made the gun incapable of firing, according to the documents.
Firearms experts then put the gun back together, per Hinckley’s request, in the correct order and test-fired it, finding that it worked, according to the documents.
Crime lab workers photographed the disassembly and reassembly of the gun, according to the documents.
Hinckley swore in the complaint filed that it was “readily capable of lethal use” when it was used in the incident.
Now, I’m not an attorney, but this sure sounds like evidence tampering to me.
If the firearm was inoperable when it was seized, that’s the condition it should remain. Especially if the case hinges on the gun being “readily” capable of being used for lethal force.
Hinkley also swore in the filed complaint that the gun was capable of being fired. That sounds like perjury to me, since by that point he had to know it wasn’t.
Oh, I’m sure he’ll claim it was during the incident and was only made inoperable after the incident. However, that’s something Hinkley would have to prove at a trial, and I don’t think he can. That’s not something that generally happens after routine maintenance, after all, so I’d be shocked if he can find evidence that the couple not only did it but knew what they were doing to make it that way.
The McCloskeys have been the target of a witchhunt and we all know it. This is just more evidence that they’re being maliciously prosecuted simply because they dared stand up to the Black Lives Matter mob when they were threatened.
Meanwhile, I want to give them a medal.