Attorney Joel Schwartz has asked Judge Michael Stelzer to issue a ruling that will remove St. Louis Circuit attorney Kimberly Gardner from the Mark McCloskey case
ST. LOUIS – Patricia McCloskey’s attorney has asked a St. Louis judge to remove Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner from her case, just as a St. Louis judge did with her husband days ago on the case.
Joel Schwartz has asked Judge Michael Stelzer to accept Judge Thomas Clark’s ruling that released Gardner from the case on Thursday. Clark concluded that Gardner had brought political charges against the couple after she forwarded the case to supporters in campaign fundraising emails before and after bringing charges against them, which “appeared of inappropriateness ”.
Gardner’s office issued a statement following this decision, in which she only said that she is “considering her options.”
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Judge dismisses St. Louis Circuit attorney Kim Gardner from the Mark McCloskey case
Mark and Patricia McCloskey made international headlines and received strong support from Conservative leaders, including President Donald Trump, after pointing guns at protesters outside their home in the Central West End during a confrontation on June 28. Gardner referred to the protesters as Black Lives Matter protesters in their campaign materials, but most of them told police they would go to Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house.
Clark’s decision to fire Gardner only applied to Mark McCloskey’s case.
Stelzer oversees the case of Patricia McCloskey.
The presiding judge, Rex Burlison, will now select a special prosecutor to oversee Mark McCloskey’s case. He told 5 On Your Side he plans to make his decision by the end of this week.
It is imperative to make the decision.
Burlison’s term as presiding judge ends at the end of the year. At that point, Judge Stelzer – currently in charge of Patricia McCloskey’s case – becomes the presiding judge.
Gardner charged Mark and Patricia McCloskey with the illegal use of a gun and added charges of tampering with evidence in Patricia McCloskey’s case. She claimed she modified the pistol she used during the confrontation to render it inoperable.
The point at which this weapon became inoperative was controversial.
Patricia McCloskey told police that she and her husband used the gun once during a trial against a gun manufacturer and disabled it so it could be used as a prop. The McCloskeys are lawyers.
Documents received from 5 On Your Side show that crime lab staff discovered the gun was inoperative upon arrival, but Gardner’s Assistant Attorney Chris Hinckley ordered them to fix it so it could fire.
In order to accuse someone of unlawful use of a weapon, prosecutors must demonstrate that the weapon was “easily capable of lethal force” at the time of the incident in question.
In his application for adoption, Schwartz wrote, “There is no question that ACA Hinckley will be a factual witness based on the minimal discovery so far. If the state does not call ACA Hinckley, the defendant will almost certainly do so.”
The motion also states: “The defendants allege that the conduct of Circuit Attorney Gardner and ACA Hinckley creates an appearance of inappropriateness that would cause a reasonable person to question the fairness of a trial and, as a result, the Circuit Attorney’s Office as a company should be disqualified. ”
Read the attorney’s application below: