LARGO, Fla. - Michael Drejka will spend 20 years in prison for fatally shooting a man during a dispute over a handicapped parking spot.
At this morning's sentencing hearing, Drejka faced the family of his victim, Markeis McGlockton. McGlockton's girlfriend, father, and other family members took the stand to speak about how their lives have been impacted after McGlockton's death.
Drejka showed no emotion when Circuit Judge Joseph Bulone handed down the 20-year sentence. He had faced up to 30 years and will get credit for 92 days served so far.
Bulone called the 49-year-old a "wanna-be" law enforcement officer and a self-appointed "handicapped parking space monitor."
In July 2018, Drejka shot and killed McGlockton outside a convenience store in Clearwater. The two were arguing over a handicap parking space. McGlockton, who was unarmed, pushed Drejka to the ground and Drejka shot him. Initially, Drejka did not get arrested. He tried using the ‘Stand Your Ground’ defense -- claiming he feared for his life.
Several weeks later, after protests in the community, the state attorney's office brought charges against Drejka.
The case became a national lightning rod for racial tension and for criticism of Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law.
After the August 23 guilty verdict, the lead prosecutor in the case spoke with FOX 13.
"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,” said attorney Fred Schaub. “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."
Drejka's team filed a motion for a new trial in September. His attorneys were already planning to appeal his conviction.