U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- The pistol brandished on the McCloskey property in St. Louis appears to have been identified.
The ongoing saga of the McCloskey couple in St. Louis, and their ability to defend their home against a mob of hundreds of people who invaded their private, gated community, has taken some interesting turns.
The charge is controversial. Missouri has a very strong Castle Doctrine law, which gives considerable leeway, especially when people are on their private property.
When the use or threatened use of force is claimed to be justified, as Mark McCloskey has claimed, the state has to burden of proof to show that the McCloskeys' fear for their lives and property was unreasonable. It is a difficult burden for the prosecution to overcome, especially when confronted with evidence of an angry mob of hundreds of people.
Another controversy has developed. The police seized a pistol, which was said to be the one handled by Patricia McCloskey during the incident.
In a program on St. Louis Public radio, the claim was made that prosecutors had to prove the weapons used by the McCloskeys were capable of lethal force. From stlpublicradio.org:
In order to issue the charges, prosecutors must prove the guns were capable of lethal force.
In a close up of the weapon seized, it appears to be a Bryco 38, an inexpensive weapon which has been embroiled in considerable controversy.
The McCloskeys have said the pistol was incapable of being fired. They say they rendered it inoperable to use it as a prop in a court case. The model of the pistol, and its history, make the claim particularly credible.
Documents showing the pistol was incapable of being fired, when it arrived at the crime lab, have been leaked to the press.
The firearm was reassembled at the crime lab, so that it could work as designed. There has been speculation the experts were told to reassemble the pistol to show that it could be fired. The charges against the McCloskeys did not include any information the pistol had been inoperative.
It has been reported, the police did not find any ammunition for the rifle Mark McCloskey possessed at the time of the incident.
Missouri Governor (R) Mike Parson, has said he will pardon the McCloskeys if it becomes necessary.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has called for the dismissal of the charges against the McCloskeys. From foxnews.com:
“Despite this, Circuit Attorney Gardner filed suit against the McCloskeys, who, according to published reports, were defending their property and safety. As Missouri’s Chief law enforcement officer, I won’t stand by while Missouri law is being ignored,” Schmitt said.
The brief filing says the attorney general “respectfully requests that the Court dismiss this case at the earlier possible opportunity.”
The fact that crime lab personnel carefully documented the pistol was inoperative when they examined it, and someone anonymously leaked the document to the press, showing the lab had found the pistol to be inoperative, indicates people did not want to be seen as altering evidence, or as being part of a conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Prosecutors have enormous power, created for them by the Supreme Court in 1983, when they were given absolute immunity from lawsuit.
Perhaps it is time that absolute immunity for prosecutors be re-examined.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.