CLEARWATER, Fla. — A judge denied the request to lower the $100,000 bond of the man at the center of the Clearwater 'stand your ground' case Thursday morning.
The attorneys of Michael Drejka, the 47-year-old who is charged with manslaughter after admitting to fatally shooting Markeis McGlockton, 28, over a handicap parking spot in July, said in court that he has sat in jail for more than a week because he can't afford the $100,000 bond.
Lysa Clifton, John Trevena and Bryant Camareno submitted a three-page motion which stated Drejka's not a danger to himself, the victim's family or others.
However, previous incidents laid out in his arrest warrant could contradict that. The warrant listed two previous road rage incidents where Drejka pulled a gun on the victims. Just a month before the July shooting, Drejka argued with a man about the same handicap spot at the same convenience store where he shot McGlockton.
Prosecutors said during that incident, Drejka not only said racial slurs to the tanker truck driver but also called the man's company to tell them how their employee had parked the vehicle in the handicap spot. They said while on the phone with the owner Drejka told them, "I could have blown his head off."
"The $100K bond is more than fair," prosecutors said after describing the incident to Judge Joseph Bulone.
After Judge Bulone said "everyone is allowed to a reasonable bond" and that he "did find probable cause and reviewed everything including the lack of prior convictions," he denied the motion to lower Drejka's bond.
"It is certainly within the parameters within the bond schedule. The court could later decide it could be higher than that," Judge Bulone said.
The denial not only rejected the request for a lower bond but also Drejka's attorney's request for him to not wear a GPS monitoring device had he been given bail.
A speedy trial and arraignment were waived by Drejka's attorneys. Drejka's pre-trial has been scheduled for Friday, October 19 at 1:30 p.m.
The case has sparked a nationwide debate about Florida's stand your ground law. Initially, Drejka was not arrested following the shooting under the stand your ground law.
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Judge denies Michael Drejka's request for lower bond
Statement from Drejka's family in response to Thursday's bond hearing:
We deeply appreciate the efforts of our legal team to attempt to reduce Michael’s bond. We knew that we would likely be denied, but we had to try. We have been approached by political groups, film producers and others with clear agendas to help us with this matter, but we cannot accept it.
While we want Michael home to prepare his defense, we do not want to do it in any fashion that would be disrespectful to the community or any of the families involved in this case. To that end, we are taking donations from private individuals only, directed to an account controlled solely by the family. The only way available currently to donate to that account is through the Zelle funds transfer app that is resident in most online banking apps. The Zelle address to use is email@example.com.
We ask that people not use this address to send emails, as we will not be responding directly to public inquiries at this time.