St. Louis — We reported earlier this week after a grand jury in Missouri issued indictments against the now-famous McCloskey couple. Mark and Patricia McCloskey are facing charges of “unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering” but in a move that is “highly unusual” to other Missouri legal experts, the indictments haven’t been seen by the public.
That’s because Soros-funded Prosecuting Attorney Kim Gardner has suppressed them, according to local media. That is typically only done for alleged criminals who are a flight risk — hardly the high-profile McCloskeys, or for cases where the officers might be in danger when they go to arrest the person charged. Again, not a risk for the McCloskeys.
This move by Gardner is drawing comments from legal experts in Missouri, including that of John Lynch, an attorney with 20 years experience in Missouri. He reported recalling only a handful of cases where the prosecutor has sealed the indictments.
Lynch is one of several experts who told 5 On Your Side the decision to shield the public from the indictments has left them puzzled.
Typically, judges and prosecutors suppress indictments if there is a flight risk or to give officers an advantage when arresting dangerous suspects, Lynch said. He added that federal grand jury indictments are almost always suppressed, but it’s unusual to see it done at the state court level.
“If you have an organized crime case or a child murderer, you might want to suppress the indictment until arrests are made, but this is far from that,” Lynch said. “It’s not a very well-kept secret with McCloskey saga.
“The suppression effort by the state is to continue manipulating the process out of pure political motivation which puts a dark stain on St. Louis again while the rest of us are trying to work.”
And John Lynch isn’t the only expert with that opinion. Anders Walker is a professor at St. Louis University who teachers both law and history courses. He agreed that Gardner’s suppression of the indictments is not the norm:
“I was a little surprised; often indictments are sealed so that the defendants can be apprehended and arrested and I don’t think there’s any fear that the McCloskeys, in this case, are going to try to evade arrest,” Walker said. “I think it’s probably political.
“These charges are relatively light charges and they’re also flimsy. Conservatives have focused heavily on this case as a waste of prosecutorial resources so there may be an effort to not draw further attention to the case until perhaps after the election.”
If it’s not strange enough that the public hasn’t been able to read the indictments, the plot grew even murkier when the McCloskey’s attorney, Joel Schwartz, told the press that even HE hasn’t seen a copy of the indictments.
But odd as it it — and completely out of the ordinary — Kim Gardner’s office requested that the indictments be sealed. On Thursday afternoon, a judge granted Gardner’s request, claiming it was about the “safety of witnesses” involved in the case.
“Given the international attention this matter has generated, and the violence and vitriol directed towards the Circuit Attorney’s Office for the prosecution of this case, the witnesses were understandably reluctant to cooperate and did so with the understanding that the Grand Jury proceedings, and their testimony therein, would remain confidential,” according to the motion Assistant Circuit Attorney Eusef Robin Huq wrote. “Requiring the witness’ full, unredacted names to be disclosed has a chilling effect on witness’ and victims’ participation in the criminal justice system.”
Judge Rex Burlison granted the prosecutors’ motion late Thursday, so the indictments contain only the initials of the 16 witnesses who testified before the grand jury.
Of course, with only the initials of the witnesses on the indictment, there’s no danger to them, since they’re unknown.
Despite the Prosecuting Attorney’s office’s attempt to keep this case under wraps, some details and court documents have been leaked to the public. KSDK, a local news station, has copies of documents that detail the prosecutor’s claims in the evidence tampering charge.
Prosecutors allege Mark and Patricia McCloskey “altered a Bryco Arms semi-automatic pistol with the purpose to impair its verity in the investigation of an unlawful use of a weapon that occurred on June 28 on Portland Place, an official investigation, and thereby impaired the obstructed the prosecution of Patricia McCloskey for the crime of unlawful use of a weapon,” according to the indictment.
Patricia McCloskey’s pistol has been a source of controversy surrounding the evidence in this case.
Missouri law requires prosecutors to prove the gun was operable and “readily capable of lethal use,” when it was used during the commission of an alleged crime.
The McCloskeys — who are attorneys — told police the pistol was inoperable when officers seized it because Patricia McCloskey had used it as a prop at a trial against a gun manufacturer.
Crime lab workers wrote that the gun was inoperable when it arrived at the lab, and Gardner’s Assistant Circuit Attorney Chris Hinckley ordered them to fix the gun so it could fire, according to documents obtained by 5 On Your Side in July.
McCloskeys’ attorney, Joel Schwartz, said: “The only entity that can be proven to have tampered with the evidence is the state through the Circuit Attorney’s Office.”
How could Kim Gardner’s office prove that Patricia McCloskey altered the gun after she displayed the pistol as hundreds of loud, angry protesters were marching through their back lawn?
It’s hard to imagine how they could prove such a claim, other than a confession or photos of the McCloskeys in the act. And considering the McCloskey’s have court documents that prove the gun was made inoperable in the past in order to be used in a trial…the burden of proof is most certainly on Gardner’s office.
It’s becoming more obvious by the moment that the legal system in Missouri is being high-jacked by Soros’ bought-and-paid for Kim Gardner.
Missouri voters, it’s time to clean house! Start making a list and hang onto it for election day….