Appeals court rejects prosecutor's appeal in McCloskey case

Associated Press
FILE - In this Oct. 14, 2020, file photo, Mark and Patricia McCloskey leave following a court hearing, in St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri appeals court on Wednesday denied a second challenge from St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner to an order removing her and her office from prosecution of Mark McCloskey, who along with his wife, Patricia, pointed weapons at racial injustice protesters last year.

Gardner had contended that the disqualification of her and her office from Mark McCloskey's case should not have also been applied to the case against Patricia McCloskey. 

Gardner's office said it would appeal the latest decision, meaning the Missouri Supreme Court would need to overturn her office's exclusion from the McCloskey case, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Mark McCloskey, 64, and Patricia McCloskey, 61, pleaded not guilty in October to weapons and evidence tampering charges after they waved guns at protesters walking past the couple's mansion in a private St. Louis neighborhood last June. 

Gardner and her office were removed from the case after the McCloskeys' attorney argued she exploited the prosecution by mentioning it in fundraising emails for her successful Democratic primary campaign in August. Gardner, St. Louis' first Black circuit attorney, won reelection in November.

If the ruling stands, a special prosecutor could be appointed to the case.