ST. LOUIS — A Missouri appellate court Wednesday rejected another challenge from St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner to continue prosecuting a St. Louis couple who pointed firearms at protesters outside the couple’s mansion in June.
The Missouri Court of Appeals in St. Louis denied Gardner’s claim that Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer shouldn’t have applied the disqualification of Gardner and her office from Mark McCloskey’s case to that of McCloskey’s wife, Patricia McCloskey.
Gardner would now need a Missouri Supreme Court order overturning her office’s exclusion from the cases. A spokeswoman for Gardner said the office will appeal.
Mark McCloskey, 64, and Patricia McCloskey, 61, pleaded not guilty in October to charges of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering after they waved guns at protesters walking past the McCloskeys’ mansion on Portland Place — a private and gated street — to a demonstration blocks away outside the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson. The McCloskeys said they felt threatened by the group as it walked by.
The McCloskeys sought and won Gardner’s removal from the case, alleging she exploited it for political gain in campaign fundraising emails. Gardner, a Democrat, argued she had the right to defend against Republican political attacks. Another judge is expected to appoint a special prosecutor soon.
Joel Schwartz, lawyer for Mark and Patricia McCloskey, provides reporters a summary of his argument seeking to disqualify Circuit Attnorney Kim Gardner from prosecuting the gun and evidence tampering charges against the St. Louis couple. pic.twitter.com/o9l5eVfeoe— Joel Currier (@joelcurrier) October 28, 2020
1/ Regarding today’s hearing on Patricia and Mark McCloskey’s motion to disqualify the CAO and office.— Circuit Attorney (@stlcao) October 28, 2020
Statement from Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner
It is extraordinarily rare for the Court to order the disqualification of the elected prosecutor's entire office. pic.twitter.com/Bhi5P2ckD5