CLEARWATER (FOX 13) - He fired one shot after an argument over a parking spot, killing a father of three. Michael Drejka claimed he pulled the trigger in self-defense. But Monday, the 48-year-old was placed under arrest for manslaughter with a firearm.
Drejka was in Pinellas County court for the first time Tuesday afternoon. Wearing an orange jumpsuit, Drejka only said a few words during the five-minute hearing.
“Sir, you’re charged with manslaughter with a firearm, the bond amount is $100,000,” Pinellas County Judge Jospeh Bulone said.
He ordered Drejka not to have any contact with Markeis McGlockton’s family members in any way, and the 48-year-old must surrender any guns he owns.
“Have any questions at all sir?” the judge asked.
“No sir,” Drejka replied.
McGlockton’s family members and loved ones were in the packed courtroom, telling us afterwards they thought it was important to be there to send a message.
“I just want to thank the state’s attorney for really taking a look at that tape and making the right decision,” McGlockton’s father, Michael McGlockton, said. “Now the family can at least try to heal from this a little bit.”
Drejka's arrest affidavit reveals he was about 12 feet away from McGlockon on July 19 when he opened fire.
The court papers say McGlockton “immediately backed up” when Drejka pulled out his handgun and began to turn toward the store, away from Drejka. That's when the Clearwater man pulled the trigger.
McGlockton’s longtime girlfriend called the arrest bittersweet.
“I can tell my kids now that the police got the bad man,” said Britany Jacobs.
Since the deadly confrontation, supporters have been pushing for Drejka to be locked up. There have been protests about the controversial ‘Stand Your Ground’ law, and calls for lawmakers to repeal or change the legislation
“When you look at the history of the state of Florida and Stand Your Ground, this doesn’t equal a conviction,” Jacobs’ attorney, Benjamin Crump, said. “All of America is watching Clearwater, Florida to see if there will be equal justice for Markeis McGlockton.”
“We still got a long way to go, but we’re here to fight to the end,” added Michael McGlockton.
Drejka will be appointed a public defender. If he bonds out of jail, the judge says Drejka must wear a GPS monitor and won’t be able to leave Pinellas County.