Florida Man Who Claimed 'Stand Your Ground' Defense Is Charged

The Florida man who used the "stand your ground" defense to justify shooting a man over a parking spot was arrested.

Clearwater, FL A Florida man who used the stand your ground defense has been charged with manslaughter following weeks of protests from the community.

Police arrested 47-year-old Michael Drejka last Monday morning and charged him with manslaughter in the July 19 fatal shooting of Markeis McGlockton, according to ABC News.

Initially, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said the shooting was within the bookends of stand your ground and within the bookends of force being justified, and Drejka was not charged, the Tampa Bay Times reporters.

But Pinellas County States Attorney Bernie McCabe disagreed, and charged Drejka on Aug. 13 after he received reports on the case from the Pinellas County Sheriffs Office.

The shooting occurred in the parking lot of the Circle A convenience store after Drejka approached Britany Jacobs aggressively about parking her car in a handicapped space, ABC News reported.

Drejka circled Jacobs car looking for a handicap decal and when he found none, he began lecturing Roberts about the states parking regulations through her car window.

Jacobs said that the dispute became so intensified that it drew the attention of patrons in the store.

He wanted somebody to be angry at. He just wanted someone to fight him, Roberts said. He was picking a fight. Im just sitting, waiting for my family to come back to the car.

Surveillance video showed the physical altercation began when Roberts boyfriend, McGlockton, came out of the store and saw Drejka arguing with his girlfriend.

The video showed the McGlockton exited the store, saw what was going on, and stormed up to Drejka and shoved him hard.

Drejka flew backwards several feet and landed on the pavement. He then pulled a handgun and pointed it at McGlockton, the video showed.

Drejka owned the gun legally and had a concealed carry permit, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

The video showed that several seconds later, while still on the ground, Drejka fatally shot McGlockton as his five-year-old son watched.

Sheriff Gualtieri said Drejka told police he was in fear of being attacked again.

"Our job and our role is not to substitute our judgment for the law and what the Legislature has crafted as the framework," Sheriff Gualtieri said, according to the Tampa Bay Times, "but to enforce it equally and fairly as were required to do."

But after an investigation by the sheriffs department, and weeks of protests by the family and friends of McGlockton, the McCabes office intervened and brought charges against Drejka.

McCabe said Drejka was not protected under stand your ground in the incident and said the charges against him were "consistent with the decision-making process established under Florida law in this case, according to ABC News.

"I support the State Attorney's decision and will have no further comment as the case continues to work its way through the criminal justice system," Sheriff Gualtieri said in a statement, according to ABC News.

Further investigation had revealed that Drejka was a regular at the Circle A store and had a history of taking issue with people who parked in handicap spots illegally, according to the Washington Post.

McGlockton wasnt the first person that Drejka had a run-in with at the same convenience store over a parking spot.

Rick Kelly told the Tampa Bay Times he stopped at the Circle A and parked in a handicap spot a few months earlier, and Drejka confronted him.

When the incident escalated, Kelly said Drejka threatened to shoot him, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

"Its a repeat. It happened to me the first time. The second time its happening, someones life got taken," Kelly said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. "He provoked that."

Drejka was booked into the Pinellas County Jail and his bond was set at $100,000.

Comments (31)
No. 1-13
TCSO7801
TCSO7801

The victim is shown walking away. Shooter had made threat to another about shooting him. Drejka was the instigator in both. SYG law needs reworked...

TCSO7801
TCSO7801

Verbal arguments dont constitute a threat to your life..or getting popcorn thrown in your face as was the circumstance in another SYG case

angeleyes
angeleyes

I agree with him about handicapped parking. I'm handicapped and have been known to be vocal about it, but just say my peace with a few choice words and some parting shots and i'm gone. Maybe people should just take pics of the vehicles in question, people driving and the handicapped space where it's at. No need for all these guns being puled out over nothing. The man had clearly started to turn to walk away and while the idiot was on the ground in no immediate danger, he pulled a gun and shot him. saw this when it first came out and thought he should have been charged. let's see what a judge/jury does with this case.

cclaxton
cclaxton

This prosecution is all about Bernie McCabe protecting his reputation in the black community. He has done a lot of good in black communities through their cooperation to help divert at-risk juveniles from becoming criminals. He is at risk of losing that accomplishment. This is political prosecution.

DavidDouglass
DavidDouglass

This is 'not' a stand your ground SYG case. All SYG means in the 37 states where it's implemented is.....'Avoidance or the Duty to Retreat' does not apply or is not required before a person lawfully defends themselves from...death OR grave bodily harm (and pay attention to this provision) AS THE VICTIM BELIEVED IT TO BE AT THE TIME OF THE ATTACK. . In this case, there is no ABILITY to retreat due to the "Ambush-Type Attack" committed against the victim. Thus....not a SYG event.

Secondly, the video clearly shows the victim having a conversation with the attacker's girlfriend, which does NOT constitute 'starting the conflict'--any person can have a difference of opinion with anyone heated or not, and it's not proof of instigating violence or committing a crime.

Thirdly, the aggressor here was the attacker who blindsided the victim.

And 'as the victim believed the attacker was going to continue the attack, from the time he struck the pavement to the point where he fired the gun, is less than one second--0.94 seconds--(not 2 seconds as this article asserted....run the tape at normal speed and start a timer and you'll see it's under one second).

The entire case will come down to either an 'immunity hearing' before a judge, or a trial judge and jury having to chose between two arguments.

  1. There was just one initial violent conflict, i.e. the ambush-shove to pavement which was ended when the gun was brought to line of sight on the attacker, causing him to take one and a half steps back in order to take a ready position for a response from the victim in retaliation to his violent shove. Thus the conflict ended and the guy with the gun wins.

OR

  1. There was a second conflict which started from the millisecond when the gun was brought to line of sight on the attacker, which will be viewed by judge and jury as a independent second conflict, under the duress of being violently shoved, whiplash type effect, followed by the impact injury of striking pavement hard, resulting in clouded judgement and thus the fear of further physical harm perhaps unto grave bodily harm which results in firing the gun.

Thus the reason the prosecutor selected 'Manslaughter' instead of Murder and I'm betting he'll ask the jury for the 2nd or 3rd degree.

If you'll note in the video that there was a man-witness who exists the store, hears the verbal exchange of the attacker reacting to the gun being presented, and has the ability to run over eight feet before the gun is fired--0.94 seconds time frame.

However the attacker steps back one and a half steps, takes a defensive stance, instead of giving up. There was a verbal exchange there at that instance, and IF, IF, the attacker said, "If you put that gun on me you better shoot cause I'm going to" ----BAM or did he say, "Hey dude don't shoot, don't shooo"-- BAM

We'll have to wait and see what the verbal exchange was...what ever it was it made the guy-witness run like hell.