Jury Rules in Florida 'Stand Your Ground' Case

Michael Drejka could get 30 years for shooting Markeis McGlockton
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2019 11:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – A high-profile "stand your ground" case ended Friday with the shooter found guilty of manslaughter, the Tampa Bay Times reports. A Florida jury took 6 1/2 hours to convict Michael Drejka, who had fatally shot Markeis McGlockton in a 2018 dispute over a handicapped parking space. A woman broke out crying and McGlockton's family embraced as Drejka—who could get 30 years—looked straight ahead in the Pinellas County courtroom. "[McGlockton] was a human being in our world," a prosecutor said in closing statements. "And is the taking of his life worth that? … Think about it: What have we come to in this country?" Much of the case hinged on Circle A Food store video that captured the encounter between Drejka and McGlockton's family.

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The court saw Drejka confront McGlockton's girlfriend for parking in a handicapped spot outside the Clearwater store. McGlockton then pushed Drejka to the ground, Drejka drew his .40-caliber Glock handgun, McGlockton stepped back, and Drejka fired. Drejka's lawyer said he feared for his life, while the state said McGlockton posed less threat after backing up. Prosecutors also painted Drejka as an armed vigilante who had threatened gun violence against another driver before. The defense noted McGlockton had ecstasy in his system at the time, per CNN. The case drew attention for touching on heated issues, including self-defense, gun rights, and race. Drejka is white, while McGlockton was unarmed and black. (Drejka wasn't initially charged at all.)

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