ST. LOUIS, KOMPAS.com - The St. Louis couple who gained attention after emerging from their home waving guns during a racial injustice protest appeared in court on Monday.
The attorney for the St. Louis couple said that they are anxious to prove “with absolute certainty” that no crime was committed.
The couple, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, spoke via video to audience members at the Republican National Convention last week.
Though they appeared in court briefly Monday morning, they did not enter a plea. The judge continued their case until October 6.
The couple emerged from their Renaissance palazzo-style mansion with guns on the night of June 28 after protesters veered onto their private street.
The couple said the demonstrators knocked down an iron gate and ignored a “No Trespassing” sign, and they felt threatened.
Mark McCloskey, 63, came out with AR-15 rifle, according to court records, which said Patricia McCloskey, 61, displayed a semiautomatic handgun. No shots were fired.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said their actions created the risk of bloodshed during what she called an otherwise peaceful protest.
She charged both with felony unlawful use of a weapon.
The McCloskeys did not speak to reporters after the court hearing. Their attorney, Joel Schwartz, reiterated their claims that no laws were broken.
“We are simply anxious to remove all the noise from this case, move the case forward, and have the facts heard by a jury and let the jury decide whether or not the McCloskeys committed any felony offenses because we are convinced with absolute certainty that there was no felony committed here,” Schwartz said.
Missouri law allows homeowners to use force, even lethal force, to defend their homes.
The McCloskeys drew support from President Donald Trump, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and other leading Republicans.
Last week, the McCloskeys, who are both attorneys, made the case in an opening night speech of the Republican National Convention that they had a “God-given right” to defend themselves and their property.
(Writer: Jim Salter)
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