Patricia McCloskey's handgun was inoperable when she brandished it to ward off demonstrators who had congregated on her front lawn, but a St. Louis prosecutor ordered crime lab technicians to reassemble the gun in working order and then attested that it was "readily capable of lethal use" in charging documents filed against McCloskey.McCloskey has stated that the handgun she used was inoperable, which under Missouri law would exonerate her from the charge of unlawful use of a weapon. However, assistant circuit attorney Chris Hinckley wrote that the gun was "readily capable of lethal use" when charging McCloskey on Monday, a St. Louis NBC affiliate reported."The firearm could not be test fired as submitted," reads a report from the St. Louis police crime lab obtained by 5 On Your Side. "At the request of ACA Chris Hinckley, the firearm was field stripped and found to have been assembled incorrectly….The firearm was reassembled properly, test fired and functioned as designed." Crime lab workers photographed the disassembly and reassembly process.McCloskey's husband Mark also brandished a firearm, an AR-15 rifle. The couple said they had intentionally rendered the handgun inoperable so that they could use it as a prop in court, in a separate case brought against a gun manufacturer."It’s disheartening to learn that a law enforcement agency altered evidence in order to prosecute an innocent member of the community," the couple's attorney Joe Schwartz said. National Review has reached out to the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office for comment.The McCloskeys responded to a June 28 incident during which George Floyd protesters broke into their gated community while attempting to reach the house of St. Louis mayor Lyda Krewson."The group began yelling obscenities and threats of harm to both victims,” a police report stated. “When the victims observed multiple subjects who were armed, they then armed themselves and contacted police."Missouri attorney general Eric Schmitt has filed to dismiss the case against the couple.
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