You may remember the July, 2018 shooting of Markeis McGlockton in the parking lot of a convenience store in Clearwater, Florida. The shooting was caught by a security camera.
McGlockton had just come out of the store and found Michael Drejka confronting his girlfriend who was in his car at the time.
McGlockton pushed Drejka to the ground and Drejka then shot McGlockton to death with a .40 caliber GLOCK pistol.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gaultieri had initially decided not to charge Drejka on the basis of Florida’s “stand your ground” law, claiming that the law prevented him from charing Drejka in the shooting. That brought national attention to the case.
Pinellas county prosecutors, however, later issued a warrant for Drejka’s arrest and charged him with manslaughter.
Tonight, after a week-long trial, a jury found Drejka guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of McGlockton.
As the Tampa Bay Times reports . . .
A jury found Michael Drejka guilty of manslaughter late Friday in the 2018 shooting death of Markeis McGlockton in a convenience store parking lot.
The conviction came after 6 ½ hours of deliberations by the jury of five men and one woman.
It was read aloud at 10:41 p.m. Drejka stared straight ahead, standing beside his lawyers. He could face up to 30 years in prison. …
The verdict concludes a week-long trial that wound through the argument, the shove and the shot on July 19, 2018, at the Circle A Food Store near Clearwater. Jurors heard from witnesses ranging from experts in toxicology and use-of-force to a man whom Drejka confronted five months earlier in the same parking lot. They also heard from McGlockton’s girlfriend, whom Drejka first approached the day of the shooting.
Drejka’s defense team argued that their client was in reasonable fear for his life and acted accordingly.
“He did what he thought he had to do, in the moment, in the split-second time, given that he was attacked,” Drejka attorney John Trevena said during his closing argument.
“You may not agree with the law. But you took an oath as a juror to uphold the law.”
That obviously wasn’t the way the jury saw it.