State Watch

Florida man in deadly 'stand your ground' shooting found guilty of manslaughter

A Florida man who fatally shot an unarmed black man in a parking lot after an argument over a space was found guilty of manslaughter on Friday.

Michael Drejka was taken into custody Friday night and is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 10 and faces up to 30 years in prison, NBC News reported. A presentencing investigation will be completed beforehand.

Drejka, who is white, told local police he shot Markeis McGlockton, who is black, in a Clearwater, Fla., convenience store lot in July 2018, claiming he feared further attack after McGlockton reportedly pushed him to the ground.

During the trial for the case, Drejka did not testify on his own behalf, and his defense attorney tried unsuccessfully to use Florida's "stand your ground" law, arguing McGlockton was to blame for his own death by shoving Drejka, and adding that Drejka was only protecting himself by firing his gun, according to NBC News.

The ruling comes after the sheriff's office initially did not charge Drejka, citing self-defense under the state's controversial "stand your ground law." Prosecutors filed manslaughter charges against Drejka almost a month later.

Prior to the altercation, McGlockton had parked in a handicap spot outside a convenience store with his girlfriend and children before he went into the store to purchase food with his five-year-old son.

Drejka then approached Britany Jacobs, McGlockton's girlfriend, while outside the store, and reportedly yelled at her for parking in a handicap space without a permit. 

McGlockton is seen on surveillance footage pushing Drejka to the ground. Drejka, who had a concealed weapons permit, then pulls out a firearm and shoots McGlockton in the chest. 

According to NBC, prosecutors argued that Drejka started the altercation by confronting Jacobs, because she was parked with her children in the handicapped space. Prosecutors also said Drejka had no reason to fire because McGlockton was retreating.