NewsPinellas County

Actions

Jury foreman in Drejka trial recounts guilty verdict, says decision came down to security video

Posted: 5:52 PM, Aug 25, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-26 06:18:04-04
Stand your ground defense in Clearwater shooting

CLEARWATER, Fla. — On Friday, after a six-hour deliberation, Michael Drejka was found guilty of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Markeis McGlockton in 2018.

Drejka shot McGlockton over a handicapped parking spot outside of a Clearwater convenience store.

The case sparked a nationwide debate over Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law after the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said Drejka was protected by "stand your ground" and did not initially arrest him.

Jury foreman Timothy Kleinman says he's one of the reasons deliberations lasted so long, saying in the end it came down to the security video of the shooting.

RELATED: Michael Drejka found guilty of fatally shooting unarmed man outside convenience store over parking spot in 2018

"I wanted to make sure beyond a reasonable doubt that the use of deadly force was unjustified," Kleinman said on Sunday.

Kleinman says he was initially learning toward a not guilty vote.

"Personally, I do feel that Markeis Mcglockton unnecessarily provoked Mr. Drejka by pushing him. I don't think that was necessary," he said. "At the same time, using the gun wasn't needed."

Daily Breakdown: Everything that happened during Michael Drejka's trial

Kleinman says he shifted his position to guilty after re-watching security video of the incident and getting a better understanding of the law.

"He had time to think, 'Do I really need to kill this man?'" Kleinman said. "No he didn't, but he chose to."

“I think simply drawing the gun would have been enough. At that point Mr. Drejka had the upper hand," he added.

Kleinman, who calls the entire incident "sad and tragic," says he's confident they made the right decision.

“I hate for anyone to have to go to prison. That’s a nightmare of mine. But, at the end of the day, I was not the one that drew the gun. I did not make the decision to kill Markeis McGlockton,” Kleinman said.

Drejka is scheduled to be sentenced in October. His lawyers say they're plan to file a motion for a new trial.