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Indictment claims McCloskeys altered gun, leading to evidence tampering charge

Indictment claims McCloskeys altered gun, leading to evidence tampering charge

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Watkins turns over McCloskey hand gun to law enforcement

Albert Watkins, a lawyer representing Mark and Patricia McCloskey, displays the handgun wielded by Patricia McCloskey outside of his law office in Clayton on Saturday, July 11, 2020. The handgun had been used as an exhibit in court proceedings and was not dischargeable. Photo by Chris Kohley, ckohley@post-dispatch.com

ST. LOUIS — Indictments filed against Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple charged with felonies after waving guns at protesters in June, show that an additional charge of evidence tampering was added this week because prosecutors say the couple altered the gun Patricia McCloskey was holding that day. 

The McCloskeys' lawyer claimed the gun was inoperable when she wielded it outside the couple's Central West End mansion that day, because it had been used as a prop in an earlier lawsuit against a gun manufacturer. 

Before charges were filed, the couple turned Patricia McCloskey's gun over to their attorney at the time, Albert Watkins. Watkins turned the gun over to police, then said he would no longer serve as their attorney because he  could be called as a witness at their trial. 

Watkins claimed at the time that Patricia McCloskey knew the gun was inoperable when she confronted protesters but displayed the gun as an “intimidation factor which may be utilized within the context of any self-defense.”

Patricia and Mark McCloskey were indicted Tuesday on one count of unlawful use of a weapon and one count of tampering with physical evidence, both Class E felonies. 

Since their encounter with protesters this summer, the couple has gained national notoriety through appearances on Fox News and CNN, and by speaking at the Republican National Convention in August.

The McCloskeys' next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 14. 

Essential reading on the McCloskeys, the St. Louis couple who used guns to confront protesters on a private street

On June 28, Mark and Patricia McCloskey say they felt threatened by a group of protesters who entered Portland Place, a private street in the Central West End.

Patricia used a handgun, and her husband used a long-barreled gun to confront the protesters. Their actions drew condemnation, but also support from the governor and the president.

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