Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple indicted last week after they waved guns at protesters outside their home in June, pleaded not guilty Wednesday.
The McCloskeys were charged with unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with evidence after they confronted hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters who marched onto a private street the couple lives on.
9 CHARGED AFTER MCCLOSKEY CONFRONTATION WON’T BE PROSECUTED
Mark McCloskey had an AR-15 rifle, while Patricia McCloskey had a semiautomatic pistol.
The couple will appear in court again on Oct. 28.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner originally filed the weapons charge in July. The grand jury added the evidence tampering charge. The indictment states that a semiautomatic pistol was altered in a way that “obstructed the prosecution of Patricia McCloskey” on the weapons charge.
The McCloskeys’ attorney, Joel Schwartz, called the charges a “travesty” and a “political prosecution,” citing as evidence Gardner’s ads in her successful Democratic primary campaign in August in which she referenced the case.
Schwartz also indicated that President Trump remains interested in the case. The McCloskeys spoke on video during the first night of the Republican National Convention.
“They have spoken with the president,” Schwartz said after the hearing. “The president contacts them semi-frequently.”
He declined to elaborate, and the McCloskeys declined to comment after the hearing.
MARK MCCLOSKEY DESCRIBES CLASH WITH PROTESTERS: ‘IT WAS A VERY, VERY FRIGHTENING EXPERIENCE
Mark McCloskey, after a brief court hearing last week, expressed anger that he and his wife faced criminal charges while those who trespassed on his property did not. St. Louis prosecutors last month declined to prosecute the nine people charged with trespassing on private property.
“Every single human being that was in front of my house was a criminal trespasser,” Mark McCloskey said. “They broke down our gate. They trespassed on our property. Not a single one of those people is now charged with anything. We’re charged with felonies that could cost us four years of our lives and our law licenses.”
Protest leaders have said they did not damage the gate.
The McCloskeys made headlines earlier this week after leaving an autographed photo taken during the June confrontation for a restaurant server.
The photo showed the couple pointing guns at the protesters and was signed, “Thanks for the great service,” KMOV-TV reported.
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“We were having breakfast and I noticed all this commotion around the table when they had left,” diner Andrea Spencer told the station. “The server was like ‘Oh my God, look what they left me.’”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.