Florida Man Convicted in Parking Lot Shooting
Michgal Drejka was convicted by a jury for a 2018 shooting that many thought would the next big “stand your ground” case. It turned out he didn’t assert a stand your ground defense at all, relying instead on the standard self-defense argument.
It took 25 days to arrest Drejka after the altercation. Drejka originally cited the Florida stand-your-ground law as his defense. Stand your ground in Florida generally means, a shooting is justified if a reasonable person under those circumstances would believe they are in danger of death or great bodily harm. The shooter could not have instigated the altercation.
What Happened in the Case
Markeis McGlockton was shot to death by Michael Drejka in July 2018. Drejka was labeled a parking lot vigilante by the state of Florida’s prosecutors. Drejka admitted to authorities he routinely went around looking for handicap stickers on cars parked in handicapped spots. He would confront cars in handicap spots without the proper permit. He had aggressively confronted a truck driver earlier in 2018.
Drejka saw McGlockton’s car parked in a handicap spot outside a convenience store without a handicap sticker. In the car was McGlockton’s girlfriend, Brittany Jacobs, and their two children. He argued with Jacob’s until McGlockton exited the store. McGlockton pushed Drejka to the ground. In response Drejka pulled out his handgun and shot McGlockton. McGlockton ran back into the convenience store where he later died. His five year old son was witness to his death. McGlockton was unarmed.
The Florida’s state law states if you fear for your life you can respond with lethal force before attempting to back away. The individual using the stand-your-ground law as a defense cannot be the instigator in an altercation. As of 2017 prosecutors must disprove the stand-your-ground-law in trial.
The prosecution argued that after McGlockton pushed the defendant to the ground that the victim backed away, demonstrating that he was not a threat to Drejka. They argued Drejka should not have been going around playing parking cop. Instead he should have called the police, reported the incident, and had the authorities handle the situation.
Ultimately, the defense team decided to use the self-defense approach as opposed to the stand-your-ground approach. Drejka’s defense team stated their client simply reacted in self-defense. He was pushed to the ground and feared for his life, so he responded with lethal force. He denied seeing McGlockton back away as the prosecution argued. The defense team claimed McGlockton had a violent passed and was the result of bad parenting. The judge on the case ruled these statements as racist.
Drejka was found guilty of manslaughter. He faces a maximum of 30 years in prison. His defense team plans to appeal the verdict.
ArborYpsi Law Takeaways
It is unfortunate that a citizen taking issue with illegal use of handicap parking spots has resulted in the end of two lives. McGlockton witnessed a suspicious man circling his family in his car and responded with a shove. That shove prompted Drejka to shoot him in the abdomen nearly three seconds later. It is hard to say if Drejka truly feared for his life, meaning he responded in self-defense. However, it’s fair to say there could have been reasonable doubt in this case. There is reasonable doubt that Drejka truly feared for his life and therefore responded in a manner to protect himself.
Sam Bernstein is a Criminal Defense Attorney in Washtenaw County.
ArboYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave. Ann Arbor, MI 48108.
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ArborYpsi Law Focuses on Criminal Defense
Sam Bernstein is a criminal defense attorney in Ann Arbor, MI. He has represented clients in Oakland, Wayne, Washtenaw, Livingston, Lenawee and Jackson County. He has practiced criminal defense in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Plymouth, Westland, Canton, Novi, Howell, Brighton, Wyandotte, Taylor, Southgate, Detroit, Livonia, Warren, Detroit, and Jackson among other Metro-Detroit cities.
If you have been charged with carrying a concealed weapon, assault, assault and battery, or brandishing a weapon call ArborYpsi Law. Lawyer Sam Bernstein specializes in criminal cases. ArborYpsi law represents clients charged with drinking and driving, domestic violence, shop lifting, drug charges, sex crimes, sexual assault, rape, child abuse, child endangerment, DUI’s, DWI’s, Operating While Impaired (OWI), traffic tickets, retail fraud, gun charges, and assault and battery.