CLEARWATER, Fla. — The man at the center of a controversial stand your ground case in Clearwater appeared in court Friday afternoon. The judge set a jury trial date in this case: August 19th at 1:30 P.M.
Clearwater resident Michael Drejka is charged in the death of Markeis McGlockton. The shooting happened in July outside of the Circle A convenience store on Sunset Point Road.
John Trevena, Drejka’s defense attorney tells ABC Action News new evidence in the case could help a jury rule in the shooter’s favor.
Trevena says the toxicology report indicates Markeis McGlockton had drugs including ecstasy in his system. He also says an independent witness heard Britany Jacobs, McGlockton’s girlfriend tell Drejka, “My boyfriend is gonna f*** you up. He’s going to kill you,” moments before the fatal shot was fired. Trevena hopes to enter both pieces of information into evidence for the future trial.
"This is a man who was a bully, who beat on pregnant females and has a history of violence with police officers and other individuals. So to characterize him as a saint or a victim is a farce,” Trevena said about McGlockton.
The argument in July started between Drejka and McGlockton’s girlfriend after she parked in a handicapped parking space at the convenience store. McGlockton, who was inside the store buying his son a candy bar, overheard the argument. Surveillance video shows McGlockton run out of the store and push Drejka to the ground. Drejka then pulled out a gun and, while seated on the ground, fired one bullet at McGlockton. McGlockton died a short time later.
At first the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office did not arrest Drejka, stating that he was protected under stand your ground. Three weeks later, he was taken into custody at the recommendation of the state attorney’s office.
Attorneys Ben Crump and Michele Rayner, who are representing McGlockton’s family, released the following statement on Friday:
“The truth about the needless death of Markeis McGlockton is right there in the surveillance video: Mr. McGlockton was shot dead while standing up to, and then stepping back from, a troublemaker and instigator. The video shows all you need to know, and as a result, Michael Drejka is properly facing a charge of manslaughter. We have seen this shameful scenario play out time and again, where lawyers try to muddy the crystal-clear truth by attacking the character of an unarmed black man who was the victim of a gun crime. When the basic facts are not on your side, that side will resort to these kinds of tactics. We have faith that a jury will not be fooled by this transparent attempt to change the narrative and victim shame, and that in the end justice will be served.”
They have also called the crime a “cold blooded murder.” Rayner says McGlockton’s young son witnessed the shooting.
Drejka was in court Friday but did not utter a single word to the judge or courtroom.