A St. Louis couple who gained notoriety for waving guns at racial justice protesters last summer pleaded guilty Thursday to misdemeanor charges and agreed to give up the guns they used during the confrontation.

Video and photographs of rifle-wielding Mark McCloskey and pistol-toting Patricia McCloskey in front of their mansion on June 28 captured the attention of the country, including then-President Donald Trump, who spoke out in defense of the couple. Trump and other Republicans considered the McCloskeys law-abiding homeowners defending their property. Others saw the couple as overly aggressive toward protesters who were marching through the gated community to the home of then-Mayor Lyda Krewson amid nationwide protests after a police officer killed George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The couple, both personal injury attorneys, faced felony firearm charges after the menacing display in front of their marble-faced palazzo home but ultimately pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

Patricia McCloskey, 61, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was fined $2,000. Mark McCloskey, 63, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was fined $750.

Neither will face jail time.

Because the charges are misdemeanors, the couple can continue practicing law in Missouri.

The couple has touted themselves as conservative defenders against “the liberal mob,” earning newfound celebrity status and a speaking slot at the Republican National Convention. In May, Mark McCloskey announced that he was running for U.S. Senate as a Republican, using the images from that tense faceoff with protesters in his campaign ads.

In a statement Thursday, Mark McCloskey unapologetically defended his reaction to what he called “an angry mob” that “threatened” his family and home.

“The prosecutor dropped all charges against me, except for a claim that I put other people in imminent fear of physical harm,” he said. “That’s exactly what I did, that’s what the guns were for. And any time the mob comes and threatens me, I’ll do the same thing again to protect my family.”

The couple was indicted by a grand jury in October on charges of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering, both felonies, and could have gone to jail if convicted.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who charged the couple in July, was removed as the prosecutor by Circuit Judge David Mason after citing the case in campaign fundraising emails.

Mason appointed special prosecutor Richard Callahan, who opted to agree to reduced charges. On Thursday, Callahan said in a statement that he considered several factors when deciding how to resolve the case, including “the age and lack of a criminal record for the McCloskey’s, the fact they initially called the police, and the fact that no one was hurt and no shots were fired.”

“The protestors on the other hand were a racially mixed and peaceful group, including women and children, who simply made a wrong turn on their way to protest in front of the mayor’s house,” Callahan continued, adding that there was no evidence that any of the protesters were armed.

The judge accepted the couple’s pleas Thursday, but he denied their request to donate Mark McCloskey’s rifle to raise funds, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) said he would pardon the couple if they were convicted. Parson has not received any formal request from the McCloskeys or their attorneys since they pleaded guilty, spokeswoman Kelli Jones said Thursday.

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