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crime and punishment

St. Louis husband and wife who waved guns at demonstrators plead guilty to misdemeanors

Patricia and Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who pointed guns at racial justice protesters walking by their house last summer, pleaded guilty on Thursday to misdemeanor charges and agreed to turn over the weapons they wielded during the incident.

Patricia McCloskey, 61, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was fined $2,000. Mark McCloskey, 63, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was fined $750. In October, a grand jury indicted both on felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering, but a special prosecutor agreed to reduced charges. Because they were charged with misdemeanors rather than felonies, the McCloskeys — both personal injury attorneys — can continue practicing law in Missouri.

After images of the McCloskeys holding their guns as protesters walked by their home began circulating online, they became conservative darlings. Former President Donald Trump defended the couple, and they spoke at the Republican National Convention. In May, Mark McCloskey said he was running as a Republican candidate for Senate in Missouri, and his campaign ads have featured photos from his face-off with protesters, The Washington Post reports.