Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. Crime

Michael Drejka, facing 30 years in prison, set to be sentenced

The hearing comes six weeks after jurors convicted him of manslaughter in the shooting death of Markeis McGlockton.
July 19 marks a year since Michael Drejka, left, shot and killed Markeis McGlockton outside a Clearwater convenience store. [Times files] [TIMES (2018) | Times (2018)]
Published Oct. 10
Updated Oct. 10

Click here to read this story in Spanish

UPDATED STORY: Michael Drejka sentenced to 20 years in manslaughter case

LARGO — Clearwater parking lot shooter Michael Drejka is set to be sentenced today. He faces up to 30 years in prison.

The 10:30 a.m. sentencing hearing comes about six weeks after jurors convicted Drejka, 49, of manslaughter in the shooting death of Markeis McGlockton, a 28-year-old father of four. McGlockton’s family will, for the first time, have the opportunity to address Drejka directly about how his crime impacted their lives.

McGlockton’s father previously told the Tampa Bay Times he hopes to see his son’s killer get the maximum sentence.

“He killed my son. So for me, an eye for an eye. A life for a life,” said Michael McGlockton, 47. “But in this case, life is not on the table, so ... I think he should get the max.”

RELATED: Everything you need to know about the Clearwater parking lot shooting

Today’s hearing will be the last stop, for now, in a case that grabbed headlines from the start and became a referendum on self-defense.

Drejka’s lawyers last month appealed the conviction, asking the court for a new trial. Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Joseph Bulone denied that request Sept. 24, court records show. Drejka can still appeal to higher courts.

Assistant State Attorney Scott Rosenwasser, center left, hugs Michael McGlockton after a jury convicted Michael Drejka on Aug. 23 in the shooting death guilty father of McGlockton's son. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

The series of events that led up to the July 19, 2018, shooting began when McGlockton and his family parked in a handicap-reserved parking space outside the Circle A Food Store on Sunset Point Road. McGlockton went inside with his 5-year-old son while his girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, waited in the car with their other children.

Drejka then pulled into the parking lot and confronted Jacobs about why she had parked in the spot without a handicap plate or placard. They began arguing, and McGlockton, catching wind of the conflict, returned to the parking lot. He walked up to Drejka and shoved him to the ground. Drejka then pulled out a Glock handgun and shot McGlockton in the chest.

Doctors pronounced McGlockton dead at Morton Plant Hospital.

The case drew national attention when Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced he would not arrest Drejka, saying his hands were tied by Florida’s divisive stand your ground law.

Drejka is white. McGlockton was black and unarmed. Prominent civil rights attorneys signed on to represent McGlockton’s girlfriend and family members, and protesters marched in Clearwater.

A six-person jury took about 6½ hours to convict Drejka. Jurors who have spoken publicly said their decision was based on a surveillance video that captured the confrontation and shooting.

“That looped video we watched at least two or three hundred times," juror James Ryan previously told the Times.

Stay with tampabay.com and follow Times writer Kathryn Varn on Twitter @kathrynvarn for updates from the sentencing hearing.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. In this file photo, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister is announcing arrests in a sting operation that targeted unlicensed contractors. [Times (2018)]
    Monday morning, Sheriff Chad Chronister will announce the results.
  2. Hillsborough County deputies are seeking a man and woman suspected of using a stolen credit card. They are shown here in screenshots taken from surveillance video at a Walmart in Seffner, one of six stores where the credit card was used. Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
    Surveillance video shows two people leaving a Walmart in Seffner with a shopping cart full of merchandise.
  3. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. TMCCARTY  |  times staff
    The driver faces charges of driving under the influence and refusal to submit to testing.
  4. For the latest news and information, go to tampabay.com. TMCCARTY  |  times staff
    Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating. No arrests have been made.
  5. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    The fire destroyed one business and damaged others inside a strip mall at the corner of 49th Street South and 1st Avenue South
  6. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    Son and father both had weapons during an early-morning argument.
  7. Surveillance video from the Pinellas County Jail shows Deputy Amy Gee choking the neck of a 54-year-old Marie Butler. Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
    A federal lawsuit says training deficiencies led to the injury. It follows a string of incidents this year in which Pinellas sheriff’s detention deputies mistreated inmates.
  8. St. Petersburg police are looking for the driver of a white sedan who struck a bicyclist as he was crossing the Pinellas Trail at 49th Street S on Nov. 1. The bicyclist survived. St. Petersburg Police Department
    Then the driver pulled an injured Steven Weldon out of the road, got back into his car and drove off, according to police.
  9. FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2017, file photo, death row inmate Rodney Reed waves to his family in the Bastrop County District Court in Bastrop,  Reed is facing lethal injection for a murder he says he didn't commit. The execution was called into question by lawmakers, pastors, celebrities and the European Union. RICARDO BRAZZIELL  |  AP
    The 51-year-old had been set for lethal injection Wednesday evening for the 1996 killing of 19-year-old Stacey Stites.
  10. Forensic Science investigators with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office collect evidence at the scene of the shooting behind the Walmart Neighborhood Market, 6900 US Hwy 19 N, in Pinellas Park, on Friday, November 15, 2019. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The victim was a Walmart employee. He was on break at the time of the shooting.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement