A St. Louis couple celebrated in some circles and vilified in others for waving guns at protesters marching on their private street pleaded not guilty to two felony charges at a brief hearing Wednesday. Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who are both attorneys in their early 60s, were indicted by a St. Louis grand jury last week on charges of unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with evidence. They will appear in court again 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 AP reports.
The McCloskeys have blamed the “leftist” Democrats in St. Louis for their plight and have become folk heroes among some conservatives. They have received support from President Trump and they spoke on video at the opening night of the Republican National Convention. The McCloskeys' attorney, Joel Schwartz, indicated Wednesday that Trump remains interested in the case. "They have spoken with the president," Schwartz said after the hearing. "The president contacts them semi-frequently." Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has defended the couple's right to protect their home and said he will pardon them if they are convicted. Nine people involved in the protest were charged with misdemeanor trespassing, but the city counselor’s office later dropped the charges.
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