A Florida man convicted of manslaughter after shooting an unarmed father of four to death over a parking space has been sentenced to 20 years behind bars.
The sentence for Michael Drejka, 48, was handed down Thursday, after Drejka's August conviction for the death of Markeis McGlockton. The man was killed in July 2018 outside a Clearwater convenience store after an argument broke out between the two men, according to local station WFTS.
“I’m not really sure that I’ve heard any remorse,” Judge Joseph Bulone told Drejka at his sentencing.
Drejka was facing anywhere from 11 and a half to 30 years in prison under the sentencing guidelines, ABC News reports.
Bulone said he shaved 10 years off the maximum sentence, because Drejka had been “blindsided” when McGlockton pushed him to the ground just moments before the fatal shots. He also referenced his previously clean criminal record and his willingness to cooperate with law enforcement.
Bulone repeatedly referred to Drejka as a “wannabe law enforcement officer,” who had made a hobby out of monitoring the parking lot outside the convenience store, NBC News reports.
On the day in question, Drejka approached a car being driven by McGlockton, with his girlfriend, Brittany Jacobs, in the passenger seat, to see whether they had the correct decal for their handicapped parking space. McGlockton was inside the convenience store with one of his children, but an argument broke out between Drejka and a pregnant Jacobs, who was sitting inside the car with the couple’s other two children.
When McGlockton came out of the store, he approached Drejka and pushed him to the ground. Drejka then took out a gun and shot him.
Surveillance footage would later show that McGlockton had turned his back and was walking away from the altercation when he was shot.
Drejka’s defense team argued that the state’s controversial “stand your ground” law should apply — a self-defense law that allows lethal force if a person feels their life is threatened. However, the jury disagreed, believing the lethal force was unwarranted.
"The jury found that the defendant did not act reasonably or responsibly," Bulone said Thursday.
Jacobs said she would have preferred the maximum sentence, but was satisfied with the 20-year sentence her boyfriend’s killer received.
"Now I can go home and tell my children that the killer didn't get away with the murder of their daddy," she said, according to WFTS.
In a victim impact statement read in court, Jacobs said she believed her boyfriend was dead because of Drejka’s “weakness, his cowardice and his anger,” ABC News reports.
"Without Markeis my world can never be whole again," she said.
McGlockton’s father, Michael, also had powerful words for his only biological son’s killer.
“You deserve to die in prison,” he said. “In the Bible, it says that in order to get into heaven we must forgive those who trespass against us. At this point in my life, I am not there yet. And if it just so happens that the Lord chooses to take me before I come to terms with this, then I will see you in hell, where you and I will finish this. Mark my words.”
Drejka’s attorneys are planning to appeal his conviction.
Drejka has also been ordered to pay McGlockton’s family $5,000 in restitution.
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