In July 2018, Michael Drejka, a white Florida man shot and killed an unarmed black man, Markeis McGlockton, at a convenience store parking lot in Clearwater, Florida.
The two men got into an argument over a paraplegic parking spot. Drejka admitted to killing McGlockton but invoked Florida’s infamous ‘Stand Your Ground’ law as an affirmative defense.
At trial, Drejka did not testify on his own behalf but his defense attorney argued that McGlockton caused his own death “by shoving Drejka and that Drejka was only protecting himself by firing his gun.”
After the initial incident, law enforcement did not charge Drejka with any crime. However, one month later, prosecutors filed manslaughter charges against him.
On Friday, a six member jury found Drejka guilty of manslaughter. Sentencing is scheduled October 10; he faces up to 30 years in prison.
“The verdict came about a half-hour after jurors sent out a note saying they were confused by the state’s self-defense law. Circuit Judge Joseph Bulone told them all he could do is reread it for them.
The lengthy statute generally says a shooting is justified if a reasonable person under those circumstances would believe they are in danger of death or great bodily harm. But it also says the shooter could not have instigated the altercation.“