Self-defense expert to testify in Drejka trial

In less than one week, Michael Drejka's manslaughter trial will be well underway. 

Drejka is accused of killing Markeis McGlockton last summer, shooting him in the parking lot of a Clearwater convenience store. Drejka claims he killed McGlockton in self-defense.

Tuesday, attorneys on both sides were in front of a judge to set rules for the trial.

The surveillance video of that shooting has been seen and talked about across the globe – but it's what expert witnesses will be able to say in front of the jury that was debated in court.

Six of 10 jurors will decided whether Michael Drejka will be convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of Markeis McGlockton.

They judge will allow jurors to watch surveillance video, parts in slow motion, of McGlockton pushing Drejka to the ground in a dispute over a handicapped parking spot and Drejka pulling a hand gun, firing, and killing him.

"We can't call people to say, ‘you saw the video what do you think?'" State Attorney Fred Schaub said.

In a hearing to lay ground rules for next week's trial prosecutors took issue with a witness Drejka's defense attorney's will have testify.

"Our expert has the experience, knowledge, and skill," Defense Attorney Theresa Jean-Pierre Coy said.

Drejka's defense is calling a self-defense expert. They want the former Marine, who now owns a security services company, to explain what they say is the self-defense nature of the shooting.

"I believe he is qualified to say that, based on his training and experience," Jean-Pierre Coy said.

But Sixth Judicial Circuit Judge Joseph Bulone sided with the state and will only allow the witness to testify in broad, general terms, which means the jury will not hear the expert's opinion or analysis of the video.

"What is seen on the video is something the jury can handle themselves," Judge Bulone said. "We don't need any expert witness at all to tell us exactly what's going on in the video."

The judge ruled last week the jury will not see video from inside the store, of McGlockton dying in front of his five-year-old son.

The trial begins with jury selection at 8:30 Monday morning.