St. Louis city officials say they will not prosecute nine people charged with trespassing on private property in connection with an incident this summer in which a married couple in the gated community armed themselves to protect their home.
City Counselor Mark Garvin said in a statement on Tuesday that “prosecution is not warranted,” and charges will not be filed, despite the nine being issued police summonses in September.
Garvin reported that the trespassing cases had been reviewed by municipal court prosecutors. He added that residents of Portland Place (the name of the private, gated area) expressed via their legal counsel, that they do not wish to press trespassing charges.
The trespassers were connected to the Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
One felony count of unlawful use of a weapon-exhibiting is still pending against the couple – Patricia and Mark McCloskey.
They were armed with an AR-15 rifle and a semiautomatic handgun at the time of the incident in June. Documents filed with the court accuse the McCloskeys of pointing their weapons at the illegal trespassers, placing members of the crowd in fear of injury.
Marchers were reportedly using the private street as a short cut to Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home. Their run-in with McCloskeys was recorded on what became a viral video.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has promised to pardon the couple if they are convicted of a crime or misdemeanor.