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Killer of black man in parking dispute gets 20 years

A white man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting dead an unarmed black man outside a Florida convenience store after an argument over a handicap parking space.

Michael Drejka, 49, was sentenced on Thursday over the July 2018 death of 28-year-old Markeis McGlockton outside the store in Clearwater. 

Drejka had tried to use Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law as his defense.  

Judge Joseph Bulone on Thursday called Drejka a ‘wanna-be’ police officer and a self-appointed ‘handicapped parking space monitor’. 

Drejka, who was found guilty of manslaughter in August, had told detectives he was irritated by people who illegally park in handicapped spots when he encountered McGlockton last year.

Markeis McGlockton

Michael Drejka, 49, was sentenced on Thursday to 20 years in prison over the July 2018 death of 28-year-old Markeis McGlockton outside the store in Clearwater, Florida. Photo on left courtesy of WFLA

He confronted McGlockton’s girlfriend Britany Jacobs for parking in a handicapped space at the Clearwater convenience store.  

McGlockton had gone inside the store with his five-year-old son.

As the confrontation continued, a customer went into the store and alerted McGlockton. 

Security video captured McGlockton leaving the store and shoving Drejka to the ground. 

Seconds later, Drejka pulled out a handgun and shot McGlockton as he backed away.

The judge said he found it most ironic that Drejka drove up, illegally parked next to Jacobs’ car and then confronted her about parking illegally in a handicapped space. 

Drejka had confronted McGlockton's girlfriend for parking in a handicap parking spot. Security video captured McGlockton leaving the store and shoving Drejka to the ground. Seconds later, Drejka (on the ground) pulled out a handgun and shot McGlockton as he backed away

Drejka had confronted McGlockton’s girlfriend for parking in a handicap parking spot. Security video captured McGlockton leaving the store and shoving Drejka to the ground. Seconds later, Drejka (on the ground) pulled out a handgun and shot McGlockton as he backed away

Security video captured McGlockton leaving the store and shoving Drejka to the ground after another customer alerted him to the confrontation outside

Security video captured McGlockton leaving the store and shoving Drejka to the ground after another customer alerted him to the confrontation outside 

‘He just seems to come out of nowhere, kind of like a superhero, to see that he enforces the handicapped parking spot,’ Bulone said. 

Drejka had tried to use Florida's 'stand your ground' law as his defense for shooting McGlockton. He was found guilty of manslaughter in August

Drejka had tried to use Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law as his defense for shooting McGlockton. He was found guilty of manslaughter in August

Ahead of his sentencing, McGlockton’s girlfriend and the mother of his four children, Britany Jacobs, urged the judge to impose a maximum sentence of 30 years. 

‘There are no words to fully describe what his loss has done to our family,’ she said.

‘Our youngest two children will never have memories of their daddy. 

‘The defendant’s weakness, his cowardice and his anger are the reasons Markeis is dead. 

‘Think about raising four children alone without their daddy. Without Markeis my world can never be whole again.’ 

During the trial, Drejka’s attorney argued that he thought he was at danger when he was pushed to the ground.

They argued he was justified given Florida’s stand your ground law. 

Drejka is shown lying on the floor during his police interview, reenacting shooting the victim

Drejka is shown lying on the floor during his police interview, reenacting shooting the victim 

Prosecutors said surveillance footage of the incident proved that Drejka fired without assessing the risks. 

They pointed out that McGlockton could be seen backing away when he saw Drejka’s gun. 

‘This is really a cut and dry case. There’s no misinterpreting that Markeis McGlockton was going backwards,’ prosecutors argued. 

‘You cannot shoot an unarmed retreating man, regardless of if he’s pushed you.’ 

Prosecutors played in court a video of his police interview where he told investigators: ‘I shoot to save my own a**. And that’s that.’

Elsewhere in the interview he said he thought McGlockton was going to kick him. 

‘As I come out I start drawing my weapon. As I start leveling off my weapon, he makes his next step towards me and 21-foot rule.

‘It happened so fast and that was that. …I thought kicks were coming or at least he’d be on top of me.

‘I’m thinking he’s coming to do the rest of it… whatever beating was coming after that. If he’s gonna hit me that hard to begin with from blindside from the get-go, what else should I expect?

‘He barely made the second step before I pulled the trigger.’

At one point in the hour long interview, Drejka got on the ground and mimicked how he’d shot McGlockton. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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