Hours ago a a St. Louis county jury found Elston McCowan and Perry Molens not guilty in the videotaped beating of Kenneth Gladney.
Elston McCowan, of St. Louis, and Perry Molens, of De Soto, had been charged with attacking a third man who was selling buttons outside the politically charged meeting, called by U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis, at the height of debate over health care reform. Carnahan had wanted aging to be the subject, but many in the crowd wanted to argue over the president’s health care plan.
Kenneth Gladney said he was selling “Don’t Tread on Me” buttons and flags outside the forum when McCowan and Molens attacked him without provocation.
The two were charged with assaulting a person and interfering with police, both ordinance violations. The interfering with police charges were dropped and the trial was for assault charge, for which they could have each faced up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
In the above excerpt, the Post-Dispatch did not bother seeking quotes from Gladney or other witnesses, only Perry, Molens, and the defense attorney, a pricey private attorney I’m told is the best in the city.
Meanwhile, more on this story: