Missouri Governor Mike Parson has announced he made good on his promise to pardon a couple who gained notoriety for pointing guns at social justice demonstrators as they marched past the couple’s home in a luxury St Louis enclave last year.
Parson, a Republican, on Friday pardoned Mark McCloskey, who pleaded guilty in June to misdemeanour fourth-degree assault and was fined $US750 ($A1000), and Patricia McCloskey, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanour harassment and was fined $US2000.
The McCloskeys, both lawyers in their 60s, said they felt threatened by the protesters, who were passing their home in June 2020 on their way to demonstrate in front of the mayor’s house nearby in one of hundreds of similar demonstrations around the country after George Floyd’s death.
The couple also said the group was trespassing on a private street.
Mark McCloskey emerged from his home with an AR-15-style rifle, and Patricia McCloskey waved a semiautomatic pistol, according to the indictment.
Photos and mobile phone video captured the confrontation, which drew widespread attention and made the couple heroes to some and villains to others. No shots were fired and no one was hurt.
Special prosecutor Richard Callahan said his investigation determined the protesters were peaceful.
Mark McCloskey, who announced in May that he was running for a US Senate seat in Missouri, was unapologetic after the plea hearing.
“I’d do it again,” he said outside court. “Any time the mob approaches me, I’ll do what I can to put them in imminent threat of physical injury because that’s what kept them from destroying my house and my family.”
Because the charges were misdemeanours, the McCloskeys did not face the possibility of losing their law licences or their rights to own firearms.