'Required reading': Former Assistant Missouri Attorney General says prosecution of the McCloskeys has no legal basis

You of course remember Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who decided to brandish firearms (including an inoperable handgun) when a Black Lives Matter mob entered their private property on their way to the mayor’s house to protest, mostly peacefully. We were encouraged at first when police suggested the incident was an example of fourth-degree assault by intimidation … assault of the McCloskeys by the mob, which returned later to intimidate them some more. When it came down to it, though, Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner — aided in her primary run by George Soros — charged the couple with felony unlawful use of a weapon, even though no guns were fired and no one was hurt. Gardner thought that pointing a gun at someone in St. Louis was a felony. On Monday, former Assistant Missouri Attorney General John M. Reeves posted a thread in which he argues the case has no legal basis and should be thrown out. This thread is required reading🧵 https://t.co/7Zspu5Fzjt — Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 14, 2020 Let’s get to it: THREAD re: McCloskey firearm prosecution in St. Louis.1) The prosecution of Mark and Patricia McCloskey in St. Louis City for unlawful use of a firearm has no legal basis and should be dismissed. This thread will discuss the factual background to the case. pic.twitter.com/zkgbUKMsQd — John M. Reeves (@reeveslawstl) September 14, 2020 2) While I am a former Assistant Missouri Attorney General, and while @Eric_Schmitt has moved to dismiss the prosecution, all of my thoughts on this matter are made in my personal capacity. I do NOT speak on behalf of the Missouri Attorney General's Office. pic.twitter.com/7e4Hc2DHUY — John M. Reeves (@reeveslawstl) September 14, 2020 3) On the day of the incident, a group of protesters headed north on Kingshighway towards the residence of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson ("A" in the below map). The green line on the map shows the route the protesters presumably intended to take to remain on public streets. pic.twitter.com/3jDMU0Rv5O — John M. Reeves (@reeveslawstl) September 14, 2020 4) But instead of taking the public route, a sizeable amount of protesters decided to go through Portland Pl., as shown by the red line on the map. pic.twitter.com/JyXGH7gHNJ — John M. Reeves (@reeveslawstl) September 14, 2020 5) All of Portland Pl. is a private street off limits to the general public. There is no indication that any of the residents on Portland Pl.–including the McCloskeys–gave the protesters permission to walk through Portland Pl. pic.twitter.com/MTXTuk32ET — John M. Reeves (@reeveslawstl) September 14, 2020 6) The entrance to Portland Pl. from Kingshighway ("C" on the map, and displayed in the photos) is sealed off by 3 chained gates. The McCloskey's residence ("A" on the map) is directly behind the north gate (the gate on the right side of the second attachment below). pic.twitter.com/6V4m38J0iM — John M. Reeves (@reeveslawstl) September 14, 2020 7) All three gates are locked, including with chains and padlocks. All three gates also have large signs stating, "Private Street. Access Limited to Residents." pic.twitter.com/U1trki5UWo — John M. Reeves (@reeveslawstl) September 14, 2020 8) As a personal aside–I know this area very well, as it is not far from Washington University in St. Louis, where I did both my undergrad and law school. I have regularly driven past this intersection for over 20 years, and the gates have always been shut and padlocked. pic.twitter.com/OygrCafbgq — John M. Reeves (@reeveslawstl) September 14, 2020 9) If you don't have a key to these gates, literally the only way you can Portland Pl. from Kingshighway (short of hopping the gates/wall) is to break the locks and bust the doors open. pic.twitter.com/Y6BJLImvIC — John M. Reeves (@reeveslawstl) September 14, 2020 10) Missouri defines "trespasser" as someone who "enters the land without consent or privilege." Hogate v. Am. Golf Corp., 97 S.W.3d 44, 47 (Mo. App. E.D. 2002). pic.twitter.com/NtgVmgDPpQ — John M. Reeves (@reeveslawstl) September 14, 2020 11) As it is undisputed that none of the Portland Pl. residents gave the protesters permission to enter the street, every single one of them became trespassers upon passing through the north gate, as shown by the below video. https://t.co/SoYzh9mrtf pic.twitter.com/HcgjBLtWfW — John M. Reeves (@reeveslawstl) September 14, 2020 12) While the north gate does not appear, at the time of the below video, to have sustained the amount of damage it later would (see 4th attachment), this is irrelevant for purposes of trespassing. https://t.co/SoYzh9mrtf pic.twitter.com/8wdF7zxDwF — John M. Reeves (@reeveslawstl) September 14, 2020 13) If you walk up to someone else's house, open their unlocked front door, and enter without permission, you are a trespasser. That you did not break open the door to enter is irrelevant. https://t.co/SoYzh9mrtf pic.twitter.com/2gSsoY0TQc — John M. Reeves (@reeveslawstl) September 14, 2020 14) Similarly, every protester who walked through the gate trespassed onto the McCloskeys' private property, regardless of whether and/or to what extent the gate was damaged. https://t.co/SoYzh9mrtf pic.twitter.com/jAgf4k319N — John M. Reeves (@reeveslawstl) September 14, 2020 15) In any event, there is no question that at the time of the video below, the gate had already sustained some damage and was broken open, as it is always shut and locked. https://t.co/SoYzh9mrtf pic.twitter.com/i4iwXfoPhT — John M. Reeves (@reeveslawstl) September 14, 2020 16) As the protesters trespassed onto the McCloskeys' private property, this brings into play Missouri's "Castle Doctrine," which is designed exactly for this type of situation where trespassers enter onto someone's private property. https://t.co/SoYzh9mrtf pic.twitter.com/hbnopHLTdW — John M. Reeves (@reeveslawstl) September 14, 2020 Exactly. 16) I will do another thread later on why the "Castle Doctrine" applies to the McCloskeys' actions and why it mandates the dismissal of the prosecuting attorney's unlawful use of a weapon charges against them. https://t.co/SoYzh9mrtf pic.twitter.com/JHpMBQ2hr2 — John M. Reeves (@reeveslawstl) September 14, 2020 17) But it is critical that everyone understand the facts of what took place first. I hope this thread helps in that regard. I will have another threat either later this evening or tomorrow on the Castle Doctrine as it applies to the McCloskeys.ENDhttps://t.co/SoYzh9mrtf pic.twitter.com/abImkovyUX — John M. Reeves (@reeveslawstl) September 14, 2020 It seems to us that Missouri’s castle doctrine makes this an open-and-shut case. Related: ‘This is bizarre’: Patricia McCloskey’s gun was inoperable when police seized it, but firearms experts reassembled it to make it ‘lethal’ https://t.co/yw6xl6A2G5 — Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) July 21, 2020 recent stories

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