Expunged or Not? The Fate of Mark McCloskey’s Misdemeanor Revealed!

Mark McCloskey, a St. Louis lawyer who gained national attention in 2020 for brandishing an AR-15 at Black Lives Matter protesters, has taken a significant legal step to clear his name. On Tuesday, McCloskey filed paperwork in the St. Louis Circuit Court seeking to expunge his misdemeanor assault conviction from his record.

This move comes after McCloskey and his wife, Patricia, were widely publicized for confronting protesters outside their mansion during the height of the George Floyd protests. The incident, which saw Mark wielding a rifle and Patricia holding a pistol, led to misdemeanor charges for both.

The Incident and Legal Consequences

In June 2020, the McCloskeys were seen in viral images and videos pointing firearms at demonstrators marching past their home. The couple claimed they felt threatened and believed the protesters were trespassing on a private street. The marchers were heading to the home of then-St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson to demand her resignation.

Subsequently, both Mark and Patricia McCloskey were charged with unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with evidence. They agreed to a plea deal that reduced their charges to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault. The deal required them to surrender their firearms and pay a fine of $750 each.

Pardon and Pursuit of Expungement

In a politically charged decision, Missouri Governor Mike Parson pardoned the McCloskeys in August 2021, weeks after their guilty pleas. Despite the pardon, the couple has been unable to reclaim the firearms they surrendered as part of their plea deal, and they have continued to pursue legal avenues to clear their records.

Mark McCloskey’s recent filing for expungement is based on the argument that he has not committed any offenses since his conviction and that his actions do not pose a threat to public safety. He asserts that expunging his record is consistent with the public welfare and interests of justice.

Legal and Public Reactions

The request for expungement has sparked mixed reactions. Supporters argue that the McCloskeys were exercising their Second Amendment rights and that their actions were a defensive response to a perceived threat. Critics, however, view the couple’s actions as reckless and provocative, particularly given the context of nationwide protests against police brutality.

Missouri law requires a three-year waiting period before individuals can file for the expungement of misdemeanors. Judges ultimately decide whether to grant such requests, but prosecutors can present arguments against expungement. The outcome of McCloskey’s request will hinge on these judicial and prosecutorial assessments.

Ongoing Legal Battles

In addition to seeking expungement, Mark McCloskey has been involved in other legal battles related to the 2020 incident. He has repeatedly tried to reclaim the guns surrendered during the plea deal but has been unsuccessful at both the circuit and appellate court levels. His legal team argues that the gubernatorial pardon should nullify all judgments and orders related to the case, including the forfeiture of his firearms.

Despite these efforts, a St. Louis Circuit Court judge ruled that the pardon did not affect the terms of the negotiated plea agreement. This ruling means that, for now, the McCloskeys will not get their firearms back.

Final Thoughts

Mark McCloskey’s bid to expunge his record highlights the ongoing tension between individual rights and public safety. While his supporters see his actions as justified self-defense, opponents view them as emblematic of broader issues of vigilantism and gun control. The decision to grant or deny his expungement will undoubtedly be scrutinized and debated, reflecting the divided public opinion on this contentious case.

As this legal saga continues to unfold, it serves as a potent reminder of the complexities and nuances inherent in the American legal and justice system. Whether McCloskey’s record is ultimately expunged will be a significant marker in this ongoing narrative of law, order, and civil rights.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here