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.

LordSeamus
LordSeamus

SYG defense isn't valid in this case, per reasons given by @DavidDouglass , who gave a very good summation of this case. Mr Drejka has already, at least once, shown himself to be overly beligerent and IMHO, full of crap about being in fear of his life and/or safety. 2nd or 3rd degree manslaughter charges are right in this case.

pattyollie
pattyollie

And we all just ignore the woman who pulled into the handicap space illegally?? If SHE had not pulled into that space, boyfriend would have never been shot. Another person who thinks the laws don't apply to them.

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

I was at Walmart, parked in a HC spot and have plates and a decal. As I passed a big Cadillac w/blacked out windows I saw no HC permit or plates and pointed to the sign. As I got into my car the window of the cadillac came down and a huge guy in the drivers seat began a tirade of MF'RS on me. I said in order to park there he needed either hc plates/placard. I was told it was none of my mf business that he had one. I told him he had to display it according to state law. His nasty, nasty mouth continued as he reached down and got the placard and put it on the dash. Why, why can't people talk w/o using foul language? There was no excuse for that. This was a very big guy and I would have been afraid if he exited his vehicle at me. I didn't challenge him by pointing to the sign but he's the aggressor in the way he spoke. He was black, I was not. Why did I mention his race? Its because they seem to be more challenging if questioned and because of their race seem to feel the need to bully or are being picked on. All anyone, anyone has to do is acknowledge they did something wrong and move on, not take an aggressive stance and become verbally abusive or physically come at someone.

DocRyder
DocRyder

I agree with the DA. This was not a justified shooting. In fact, probably pre-meditated as the guy probably went looking for an excuse.

DocRyder
DocRyder

Nonsense, the guy was backing away when shot and never gave any indication of further advance. He was protecting his GF from this lunatic. Guilty, Your Honor. 1st degree murder.

Katarina
Katarina

@angeleyes Would you also be OK with being pushed to the ground and being advanced on further after being verbal about a parking spot? Because the pusher was advancing on him up until he saw him drawing the weapon. We can all say he shouldn't have shot because we are safe behind our keyboards. I know if it were me that had been pushed that hard and the guy that size stepped toward me after I was down, I would be terrified of what he might do next.

Ligoon01
Ligoon01

He was asking for trouble for sure. He was all brave while he was bullying the girl but soon as her boyfriend came to her rescue he was all afraid? The article said nothing to indicate the boyfriend was advancing towards him, said he was pushed to the ground and pulled the gun. No grounds for stand your ground here. Parking in the handicapped space is wrong but not should cost someone their life.

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

to Just my Thoughts- you sound like a rational, law abiding ,respectful person. Thank you for doing so. Unfortunately you are applying your own reasonable and logical views towards someone who is illogical ,uneducated and immature (IE- he could have easily displayed the placard as soon as he parked as I'm sure he knew perfectly well to do just that) , who has little respect for himself or others (IE he was immediately using profane language, displayed immediate outrage, began bullying), who looks for ways to exert his own self imagined "persecuted" life on another he can easily vent his frustrations to ( IE- this was no accident. He was waiting for someone just like you to "challenge" him so he could "get back" and "show you" he wont be challenged). You are also expecting the same level of maturity you yourself possess to be demonstrated by someone like him ( quote "...anyone has to do is acknowledge they did something wrong and move on, not take an aggressive stance and become verbally abusive or physically come at someone"). Although you are correct you wont likely see that from one who may feel he is entitled because of race, sees the non-black world as "the enemy", equates your questioning as being "racist", may adhere to a pitiful and dysfunctional culture, blames everyone but himself for his own misfortunes and misgivings ,etc. ....... You can try avoidance altogether and realize you may face similar ....or.... if are truly seeking interaction with others like him you will need to alter your communication style and bring your level of logic and verbal interaction down to his level. Perception -its all in the eyes of the of the viewer.