‘Stand Your Ground’ Shooter Gets Heavy Sentence in Parking Space Killing

October 10, 2019 Updated: October 10, 2019

A Florida man who invoked the state’s “stand your ground” law and claimed he shot an unarmed man in self-defense after the two fought over a parking space received 20 years behind bars.

Michael Drejka, 49, was found guilty of manslaughter in August in the July 2018 slaying of Markeis McGlockton at a convenience store in Clearwater.

On Thursday, Circuit Judge Joseph Bulone handed down the 20-year sentence in the case, Fox13 reported. Prosecutors had weighed sentencing him up to 30 years in prison.

Bulone described him as a “wanna-be” police officer and a self-appointed “handicapped parking space monitor,” the report said.

In this Thursday, July 19, 2018 image taken from surveillance video released by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Markeis McGlockton, far left, is shot by Michael Drejka during an altercation in a parking lot in Clearwater, Fla. (Pinellas County Sheriffs Office)

In the incident, Drejka shot McGlockton after they argued over a handicapped parking space. McGlockton, who was unarmed, pushed Drejka to the ground before Drejka shot him with a .40-caliber Glock pistol.

The shooting unfolded as McGlockton’s 5-year-old son was nearby, Fox News reported.

Drejka initially used the state’s “stand your ground” law and claimed it was in self-defense.

But lead prosecutor Fred Schaub didn’t buy it, saying after he was found guilty on Aug. 23 that “from the start, we always felt that this was a clear-cut case. This was a case that, this man didn’t deserve to die.”

Police stock
A stock photo of police tape (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

“Michael Drejka should have never had a gun. He isn’t responsible enough to have a gun. And he took the life of a person. He took the life of a father, a son, he had children, he had a loved one. All over a parking spot. It’s kind of ridiculous,” he said.

The mother of McGlockton’s children, Britany Jacobs, issued a statement.

“The defendant’s weakness, his cowardice and his anger are the reasons Markeis is dead,” said Jacobs, according to ABC News. “Think about raising four children alone without their daddy. Without Markeis my world can never be whole again,” she added.

The defense team said that Drejka had supporters, but they didn’t show up over safety concerns, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

No Drejka supporters were in the courtroom when he was sentenced.

“I believe in my husband and trust him in my life,” his wife wrote in a letter that was read out loud during his sentencing.