A member of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner's staff ordered the crime lab to reassemble Patricia McCloskey's pistol to classify it as "readily capable of lethal use," an investigation by local media has revealed.
According to documents, "the firing pin spring [of the pistol] of the firing pin ... was backwards, and [would] not fire in this condition." The firearm "functioned as designed" when reassembled at Assistant Chris Hinckley's request.
"It's disheartening to learn that a law enforcement agency altered evidence in order to prosecute an innocent member of the community," the McCloskeys attorney, Joel Schwartz, said.
Schwartz said the couple intentionally misplaced the firing pin to be able to bring the gun into the courtroom in a previous lawsuit case against a gun manufacturer.
"We can't comment on a pending case," a spokeswoman for Gardner said.
?Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt asked that the case be dismissed. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said he will pardon the couple if they are convicted.