Florida Man Who Used 'Stand Your Ground' Defense After Killing Markeis McGlockton Sentenced To Prison
McGlockton's family said they have finally received closure.
Update (October 10, 2019): The man responsible for fatally shooting 28-year-old Markeis McGlockton in front of a Florida convenience store in July 2018 has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
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CNN reported 49-year-old Michael Drejka was sentenced on Thursday after being convicted of manslaughter in the death of McGlockton over a handicapped-accessible parking spot.
Florida man who shot unarmed man in parking space dispute sentenced to 20 yrs.— Shomari Stone (@shomaristone) October 10, 2019
Michael Drejka, who fatally shot Markeis McGlockton, 28, outside a Clearwater convenience store in July 2018, was found guilty of manslaughter in Aug: @NBCNews, @Eli_Fieldstadthttps://t.co/fWvW7bCs8G pic.twitter.com/icTwh23r2U
Following his conviction in August, McGlockton’s father, Michael, told reporters the family has received closure.
“Now we can start putting the pieces back together and move on,” he said.
According to NBC News, the victim’s family addressed the 28-year-old’s killer.
“I know in the Bible, it talks about in order to get into heaven, you have to forgive,” McGlockton said to Drejka during the sentencing. “At this part in my life I’m not there yet, and if the Lord chooses to take me before I come to terms with this, then I will see you in hell where you and I will finish this. Mark my words.”
McGlockton’s mother, Monica Moore-Robinson, echoed similar sentiments saying, “I don’t hate you, but I will never forgive you.”
Drejka’s defense team reportedly asked for the Florida man to be released on probation or receive less time in prison. Circuit Judge Joseph Bulone denied their requests saying Drejka was a “wannabe law enforcement officer” who recklessly monitored a parking spot at the Clearwater convenience store where McGlockton was killed.
According to Bulone, the store’s owner requested for Drejka to stop stalking the parking space.
McGlockton’s girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, who was confronted by Drejka just minutes before the fatal shooting, testified during the sentencing.
“My world will never be whole again,” she told the court. “How could one person’s anger about a parking spot lead to the person I love dying?”
At the time of McGlockton’s death, Jacobs was pregnant with their fourth child.
“I am a mother of four young children. I no longer have my love, and they no longer have their dad,” she said.
Update (August 24, 2019): Michael Drejka, the white Florida man responsible for fatally shooting a Black father over a parking space, has been found guilty of manslaughter.
CNN reports a jury deliberated for six hours Friday night to determine if the state's "Stand Your Ground" law was an applicable defense for Drejka. Ultimately, they decided it was not.
The victim, Markeis McGlockton, was shot dead at a convenience store in Clearwater, Florida, on July 19, 2018, after a confrontation with Drejka. The 49-year-old gunman shot McGlockton because McGlockton and his girlfriend parked in a handicap space Drejka claimed for himself.
It took weeks for Drejka to be arrested because he claimed self-defense and evoked Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law. He wasn’t arrested until the state attorney intervened.
"In any case where a defendant raises self-defense as an affirmative defense, we have to disprove that defense beyond a reasonable doubt, and I made the determination that we can do that," McCabe said.CBS News reports Drejka will be sentenced on October 10. He faces a sentence of 30 years in prison and is currently being held without bond.
Original: Michael Drejka, who shot and killed 28-year-old black father Markeis McGlockton in a parking lot altercation, was charged with manslaughter on Monday, August 13, reports CNN.
The national outrage sparked by the fatal July 19 incident in Clearwater, Florida, was only perpetuated when Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced that Drejka's actions were in self-defense, and he'd be protected by the "stand your ground" law. The same policy also allowed George Zimmerman to walk free after killing Trayvon Martin.
"My decision not to arrest is merely doing what Florida law compels," Gualtieri initially said. "A whole bunch of people have offered a whole bunch of different opinions. ... I'd suggest to you that the mere fact that so many people have so many different opinions validates the decision not to arrest Drejka (at) this stage."
The dispute began when Drejka, 47, confronted McGlockton's girlfriend for being parked in a handicap spot while McGlockton was in the store.
"He’s getting out like he’s a police officer or something, and he’s approaching me,” McGlockton's girlfriend, Brittany Jacobs, told the Tampa Bay Times of Drejka's aggression.
When McGlockton came outside, he and Drejka exchanged words, resulting in McGlockton pushing Drejka to the ground. Drejka then fatally shot McGlockton in the chest.
In a phone call with Blavity, the victim's father, Michael McGlockton, told Blavity that "stand your ground" laws are unfair to people of color.
"I’m looking for justice for my son," he said. "Then, the law needs to be changed. It’s not fair to people of color, and it’s just not right. It’s no way on God’s green earth that you can gun down somebody and then hide behind 'I feared for my life.' It’s not right on so many levels."
In response to the announcement of the charges being brought against Drejka, his family said the decision has brought about a slight sense of alleviation.
“The announcement that Michael Drejka will be charged with manslaughter provides our family with a small measure of comfort in our time of profound mourning," the family said in a statement sent to Blavity. "While this decision cannot bring back our partner, our son, our father, we take solace in knowing our voices are being heard as we work for justice. This man killed Markeis in cold blood, without a second thought about the devastating impact his actions would have on our family, but this charge gives us a measure of hope that the truth will win and justice will prevail in the end.”
Drejka is being held at Pinellas County Jail on a $100,000 bail.