Circuit Judge Thomas Clark II on Thursday blocked Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner from prosecuting Mark and Patricia McCloskey after determining, from fundraising emails, that Gardner “initiated a criminal prosecution for political purposes,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
“Like a needle pulling thread, she links the defendant and his conduct to her critics,” Clark wrote in his decision. “These emails are tailored to use the June 28 incident to solicit money by positioning her against defendant and her more vocal critics.”
The decision also barred the rest of Gardner’s office from prosecuting the case. “This is a high-profile case, receiving extensive media coverage, eliminating any possibility that any assistant circuit attorney is unaware of Ms. Gardner’s incipient interest, initial involvement and advocacy on this matter,” wrote Judge Clark.
Gardner’s spokeswoman, Allison Hawk, responded by saying their office “will review the court order and determine our options.”
The McCloskey family received national attention in June after they were seen on camera protecting their homes with guns from protesters associated with Black Lives Matter who had taken to marching across their property. Read more…