CLEARWATER (FOX 13) - A Pinellas County judge set a trial date for Michael Drejka, who is charged with manslaughter in the death of Markeis McGlockton.
In July, Drejka was arguing with McGlockton's girlfriend about a handicapped parking spot outside a Clearwater convenience store. Surveillance video shows McGlockton leaving the store and knocking Drejka to the ground. Drejka then pulls out a gun and shoots McGlockton as he began to back away.
During a hearing Friday, a judge scheduled Drejka's trial to start Aug. 19. Afterward, defense attorneys gave reporters a hint at what they plan to argue if the case ends up in front of a jury.
"The deceased, Mr. McGlockton, has been portrayed as a victim. He's been portrayed as a saint. He's been portrayed as this wonderful person who was just viciously gunned down for no reason," said John Trevena, one of Drejka's attorneys. "This is a man who was a bully, who beat on pregnant females and has a history violence with police officers and with other individuals, so to characterize him anyway as a saint or a victim is a farce."
Trevena reiterated his client believes he was acting in self-defense, but would not indicate whether he plans to claim he was standing his ground.
Michele Rayner, an attorney for the McGlockton family, called Trevena "classless" for bringing up McGlockton's criminal history and accused him of victim-shaming.
"Those incidents happened eight to nine years prior," Rayner said. "The facts speak for themselves. The video speaks for itself. It is a last-ditch effort by the defense to taint the jury pool in this case."
Trevena said he also plans to bring up the autopsy, which showed McGlockton had the drug commonly associated with ecstasy in his system.
Rayner, however, said the autopsy also shows McGlockton was trying to get away from Drejka when he was shot.
Other people have accused Drejka of confronting them in previous incidents. Those cases are likely to come up during a hearing in February.