CLEARWATER – A jury has been seated and the trial is set to get under way Wednesday morning in a “Stand Your Ground” case in Florida.
It stems from an incident captured on surveillance video in Pinellas County in July 2018.READ MORE: Crestview Towers Residents Gather To Protest Lack Of Work Being Done To Repair The Property
That’s when Michael Drejka shot and killed Markeis McGlockton during a dispute over a handicapped parking space.
Drejka is now facing manslaughter charges.
But deputies initially refused to arrest him, saying Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law appeared to give him immunity.
The case brought new scrutiny to that law, which says that someone can use deadly force without necessarily trying to retreat, if he faces a serious threat.
Drejka pleaded not guilty and he’s expected to claim self-defense during the trial. His attorneys hope to prove that when McGlockton knocked Drejka to the ground, Drejka feared for his life. Prosecutors say Drejka started the fight by cursing at McGlockton’s girlfriend, causing the unarmed man to come to her aid.READ MORE: Large Crime Scene In Brownsville After Man Found Shot
Jurors will have to decide whether or not they believe the shooting was justifiable.
There is also a question of whether Drejka should have realized before he fired that McGlockton was backing away.
McGlockton’s attorney says the law allows people to pick a confrontation but avoid legal consequences by claiming self-defense.
The trial is expected to be fast-tracked and take only a few weeks.
Drejka could face up to 15 years if he convicted on the manslaughter charge.MORE NEWS: Rise In School Fights Another Pandemic Casualty