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Last night “handicap parking spot shooter” Michael Drejka was found guilty of manslaughter, as charged, for the shooting death of Markeis McGlockton. The verdict was returned quickly last night, after the jury had deliberated only a few hours.
Drejka shot and killed McGlockton after McGlockton violently shoved Drejka to the ground in a convenience store parking lot. When shoved, Drejka had been verbally chastising McGlockton’s girlfriend for having unlawfully parked in a handicap parking spot.
As captured by surveillance video, once on the ground Drejka drew a pistol and pointed it at McGlockton, who remained standing over Drejka. Seeing the gun, McGlockton took several steps back and appeared to begin to turn away from Drejka. It was at this point that Drejka fired the single fatal shot. There was roughly a two-second interval between the presentation by Drejka of his gun and the firing of the fatal shot.
The case immediately became something of a media circus when the local sheriff mistakenly decided that Florida’s self-defense immunity law, §776.032, prohibited him from arresting Drejka for the killing. (I addressed this at length here: Law of Self Defense: VIDEO: Shove-Shoot Case Sheriff’s Statement.) Nevertheless, local prosecutors soon brought a charge of manslaughter against Drejka, and Drejka was found guilty of that charge by a Florida jury late last night.
Although sentencing isn’t scheduled until October 10, there seems little ambiguity in what that sentence is likely to be. Florida’s “10-20-Life” firearms sentencing statute, §775.087, mandates a 25-year-to-life sentence for a crime committed with a gun in which the gun is used to shoot and kill a victim. Drejka turned 49 earlier this month, so he would be 74 years of age before there is a possibility of his release from prison.
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