CLEARWATER -- After six hours of deliberation, a jury found Michael Drejka guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of Markeis McGlockton.
Drejka showed no emotion as the verdict was read. He later wiped his face with a blue cloth. Judge Joseph Bulone set his sentencing for October 10th at 10:30 a.m. He was taken into custody without bond.
Judge Bulone sent the jury to deliberate in the trial of Michael Drejka, after final instructions, around 4:15 Friday afternoon.
Drejka is accused of manslaughter for shooting and killing Markeis McGlockton outside a Clearwater convenience store last year, in a dispute that began when McGlockton's girlfriend parked her car in a handicapped space. Drejka confronted Britany Jacobs about parking her car as her children watched. McGlockton came out and shoved Drejka to the ground, and Drejka fired the shot that killed McGlockton.
Prosecutors have argued that McGlockton was retreating after shoving Drejka. They acknowledged that McGlockton had the drug MDMA (Ecstasy) in his system at the time he was shot. In closing arguments, Assistant State Attorney Scott Rosenwasser said McGlockton was only guilty of "defending his family."
Defense attorney John Trevena insisted that Drejka was no vigilante but someone who was "viciously attacked and responded appropriately."
"Does he look like Charles Bronson in Death Wish?" Trevena asked.
Trevena says McGlockton broke the law by attacking Drejka, and that Jacobs was waiting for her boyfriend to come out of the store so they both could pummel Drejka.
In prosecution rebuttal, Frederick Schaub argued that Drejka isn't a fit gun owner and wasn't adequately aware of his responsibilities. "That fella right there had no business ever having a gun, " Schaub said, pointing at Drejka.
Both sides urged jurors to keep surveillance video of the shooting in mind.
Drejka was not initially charged following the incident. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri cited Florida's Stand Your Ground law as the reason.
Photo Credit: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office