And yet, it seems that despite the prosecutor’s deeply-driven desire to drag the couple to court, it wasn’t the slam dunk she might have tried to present to the media.
New information has surfaced revealing a schism between St. Louis police and Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner regarding her attempt to prosecute Mark and Patricia McCloskey after they pointed firearms at armed property invaders on June 28.
According to Christine Byers, of KSDK, TV 5:
The lead St. Louis police detective investigating the McCloskey case refused to sign at least two versions of court documents prosecutors drafted, according to a review of those documents…
Yet Gardner’s office – specifically, Assistant Circuit Attorney Chris Hinckley — applied pressure.
The documents obtained by 5 On Your Side include an email Gardner’s Assistant Circuit Attorney Chris Hinckley sent to the lead investigator on the case, Sgt. Curtis Burgdorf. Hinckley emailed police the day before the McCloskeys were served with a search warrant, stating it needed to happen ‘now.’
Couple this with the fact that Hinckley ordered Patricia McCloskey’s gun to be made functional and the case looks pretty shaky. I can’t help but think that this is, ultimately, going to work against the prosecution. Making the weapon functional is, arguably, evidence tampering and could well blow up in the prosecution’s face.
Especially since our legal standard for criminal cases is that the prosecution has to prove their case. That means Hinckley needs to prove the weapon was functional at the time of the incident. I don’t think he can.
Meanwhile, prosecutors and the media have presented the McCloskeys as being completely out of line, like there was absolutely no threat to the McCloskeys.
Well, that might not be correct.
Not only has Circuit Attorney Gardner turned this into a perceivably unwarranted prosecution, she has focused a target on the McCloskeys by seizing those firearms.
And this is not an abstract matter. Observes Byers:
In addition, police contend at least one person in the crowd was armed and another was wearing a bullet-resistant vest, after analyzing videos taken June 28, when the couple confronted protesters with guns.
Evidence shows that the trespassers broke through and ruined the McCloskey’s iron gate. They presented and had already shown that they were a threat to property, and, potentially, life.
In other words, there was ample reason for the McCloskeys to fear for their life. That’s going to make the prosecution’s case a whole lot less likely to pan out, especially in Missouri which has a Castle Doctrine law and a Stand Your Ground law.
What’s more, by ginning up the outrage here, Gardner has made it so if the McCloskeys get acquitted, there will be an opportunity for still more civil unrest.
All because she had to flex her virtue.