On Friday Night A Panel Of 6 Jury Members Found Michael Drejka Guilty Of Manslaughter
Friday night a jury of five men and one woman, found Michael Drejka guilty of manslaughter in Clearwater, Florida. Drejka,47, was free on bond, after being arrested a month after the July 2018 shooting at a Clearwater convenience store.
The entire incident was captured on the store video camera. The video capturing the moment of the shooting was shown several times during the four day trial. Bob Gualtieri,the Sheriff of Pinellas County refused to arrest Drekjka, after the July 2018 shooting.
Gualtieri, said ‘he doesn’t bow to public pressure’ and Drekjka ‘acted in self defense.’ The decision not to arrest, sparked angry protests, saying it was another ‘George Zimmerman’ case. Civil right attorney Benjamin Crump lead the angry protests, saying ‘all eyes are on Clearwater, Florida right now’.
The shooter is white, the victim Markies McGlockton was black, the case ignited many polarizing racial issues. The jury deliberated for 6.5 hours Friday night, after a lot of back and forth.
The Jury Foreman Timothy J. Kleinman Said He Was The Reason The Deliberations Went On & On
Kleinman says he just wanted to make sure he got the verdict it right. He said the decision he made in the end came down to the video from the convenience store.
The incident occurred when Drejka walked over to a car parked in a handicapped spot. The driver of the car was McGlockton’s girlfriend Brittney Jacobs. Their two young children were in the car, the victim was in the store with his five year old son.
Drejka confronted Jacobs about parking in a handicapped spot, when she wasn’t handicapped. She said she would move the car when her ‘family returned to the car. An argument started, and a customer ran in the store saying ‘there is an altercation outside’.
McGlockton rushed out of the store, and violently pushed Drejka to the ground. Drejka who had a canceled weapons permit, took out a gun and shot McGlockton in the chest. The victim died of his injuries shortly after arriving at the hospital. Drejka said he was ‘afraid for his life, and fired in self defense, and voluntarily talked to the police immediately after the shooting.
Foreman Kleinman Said He ‘Wanted To Make Sure The Use Of Deadly Force Was Unjustified’
Kleinman said, “Personally I do feel that Markeis McGlockton unnecessarily provoked Mr. Drejka by pushing him. I don’t think that was necessary, at the same time using the gun wasn’t needed”.
Kleinman went on to say, he wrestled with his decision, going back and forth between guilty and not guilty. He said, “He had to think, do I really need to kill this man? No he didn’t but he chose to” Kleinman said when Drejka had the gun out, he had the upper hand, and it should have stopped there. He said in the end the feels the jury made the right decision.
Kleinman says the case ‘is tragic and sad, with no winners. He called it a nightmare for Drejka who may be sentenced to 30 years. Drejka’s attorneys say they will file a motion for a new trial and vigorously appeal the guilty verdict. Drejka is set to be sentenced on October 10.