Over the summer the McCloskey’s made headlines after they defended their property from Black Life Matters protesters that were trespassing in their gated community. The couple stood outside their home with an AR-15 and a pistol and faced the violent crowd. The couple was eventually charged with felony counts of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering by Prosecutor Kimberly M. Gardner.
Now according to the Daily Wire, Gardner has been disqualified from prosecuting Mark McCloskey because of the appearance that she prosecuted him for political purposes and campaign fundraising.
Circuit Judge Thomas Clark II’s order cited “two fundraising emails that Gardner’s reelection campaign sent in response to political attacks before and after she charged Mark and Patricia McCloskey with felony gun crimes in July,”
“This court does not seek to ‘interfere with the democratic process’ but strongly believes the present ‘circumstances’ justify disqualification,” Clark wrote. “Deference to precedent, acknowledging the will of the voters, and respecting separation of powers are all vital to a representative government, an equitable criminal justice system and the rule of law. Likewise, campaigning without tainting the right to a fair trial is equally compelling and constitutionally sacred.”
“After considering the arguments of counsel, the pleadings coupled with the attachments, the applicable case law, and the relevant statute, the court finds the emails raise an appearance of impropriety and warrant disqualification,” Clark continued. “In short, the Circuit Attorney’s conduct raises the appearance that she initiated a criminal prosecution for political purposes. Immediately before and after charging Defendant, she solicited campaign donations to advance her personal interests.”
Another prosecutor will now be assigned to the case and Lawyers for Mark McCloskey are hoping they will reevaluate the evidence and see that Mark was perfectly in his rights to defend himself, his family and his property from an angry mob.
This ruling however only is in response to Marks case. His wife’s case is being presided over by a different judge and Gardener is still prosecuting her.