The handgun Patricia McCloskey was armed with when she and her husband confronted “protesters” who threatened them outside of their home was inoperatable when seized by the po-po.
So a St. Louis prosecutor ordered the crime lab to dismantle and then reassemble the firearm to make it functional so they could filed charges against her.
“...legal experts say raises very serious questions about whether the entire case can proceed.
The document was sent to News 4 anonymously, but it appears to be the lab report from the firearms analysis in the case...
...the gun Patricia McCloskey had, a small handgun, examiners say, could not be test-fired as submitted.
At the request of prosecutor Chris Hinkley, the report says, the firearm was stripped and found to have been assembled incorrectly. It was then re-assembled properly, test fired and functioned as designed. Charging documents said the gun was capable of lethal use.
“It would be disheartening to learn, if accurate, that the authorities tampered with evidence in order to bring charges against an innocent member of the community,” the McCloskey's attorney Joel Schwartz said. He declined to comment further. A previous attorney for the McCloskey's had indicated the gun had been rendered inoperable long before the incident because it had been used as an exhibit in previous lawsuits. That attorney, Al Watkins, had the gun in his possession for a short time, but turned it over to police.
Legal experts say that the law in Missouri is clear: In order for Patricia McCloskey to be guilty of exhibiting a weapon, which she was charged with Monday, the gun she had has to be readily capable of lethal use. If it was inoperable, some attorneys say she never should have been charged in the first place.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson has said he will pardon the couple if they are convicted.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a legal briefing asking that the case be dismissed.