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Judge bars St. Louis prosecutor Kim Gardner from McCloskey gun case

Gardner used incident in June for political fundraising, judge says.

Published: December 10, 2020 5:49pm

Updated: December 10, 2020 10:50pm

A St. Louis judge on Thursday barred city Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner from prosecuting an ongoing high-profile case against resident Mark McCloskey, claiming that the prosecutor used the case as a fundraising tool earlier in the year. 

Mark and Patricia McCloskey were catapulted into the national spotlight over the summer when they pointed firearms at a large group of protesters that was outside of their house during sustained Black Lives Matter-related unrest in St. Louis. The McCloskeys were charged in part with unlawful use of a weapon stemming from the altercation.

Circuit Judge Thomas Clark II said two fundraising emails sent by Gardner as part of her reelection campaign earlier this year were "tailored to use the June 28 incident to solicit money by positioning her against defendant and her more vocal critics," the St. Louis Post-Dispach reported on Thursday. 

Gardner is still able to prosecute the case against Patricia McCloskey, though McCloskey lawyer Joel Schwartz said he will attempt to have Clark's ruling applied to that case as well. 

Gardner's office told the Post-Dispatch that it intends to "review the court order and determine our options."

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