When the gun that Patricia McCloskey had was turned over to the authorities, it was inoperable and inoperable when it arrived at the St. Louis Police crime lab.
According to the McCloskey's attorney, Joel Schwartz, the gun was inoperable during the incident in question with the protesters and couldn't have hurt anyone. The McCloskeys, who are both attorneys, had used the gun as a prop during a trial.
In Missouri, police and prosecutors must prove that a weapon is "readily" capable of lethal use when it used in the type of crime with which the McCloskeys have been charged.
At the request of Assistant Circuit Attorney Chris Hinckley, crime lab staff members field stripped the handgun and found it had been assembled incorrectly. Specifically, the firing pin spring was put in front of the firing pin, which was backward, and made the gun incapable of firing, according to the documents.
Firearms experts then put the gun back together, per Hinckley's request, in the correct order and test-fired it, finding that it worked, according to the documents.
Crime lab workers photographed the disassembly and reassembly of the gun, according to the documents.
Hinckley swore in the complaint filed that it was "readily capable of lethal use" when it was used in the incident.
The couple's attorney said it was "disheartening to learn that a law enforcement agency altered evidence in order to prosecute an innocent member of the community."