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Florida man who shot an armed man in dispute over parking lot sentenced to 20 years

A Florida man found guilty of murder in the fatal shooting of an armed man during a dispute over a Florida parking lot last year was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Thursday.

Michael Drejka, who fatally killed Markey's McGlockton, 28, outside a Clearwater convenience store in July 2018, was found guilty of murder in August.

Drejka had approached McGlockton's car to see if it had the right decal for a handicapped space and then followed in an argument with McGlockton's girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, who was sitting in the car with two of her children.

Markeis McGlockton. Courtesy of Britany Jacobs / WFLA

When McGlockton came out of the store and saw what was happening, he dragged Drejka to the ground, surveillance films showed. Drejka then pulled out his gun and shot McGlockton, the photos showed.

McGlockton was not armed, and video surveillance and autopsy results indicated that he turned away from Drejka when he was shot.

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Prosecutors said Drejka initiated the change by confronting Jacobs as she parked with her children in handicapped space. They said that Drejka had no reason to shoot when McGlockton withdrew.

Jacobs testified that she feared for her safety before the argument escalated.

Drejka did not testify on his own behalf during the trial, which was in Clearwater. His defense team claimed that it was Jacobs who was the aggressor, and "not even threatened Mr. Drejka" neither McGlockton nor Jacobs.

Drejka, who has a concealed weapons license, was not originally arrested because of Florida's "stand your mark" law. But almost a month later, local prosecutors accused Drejka of murder after protests.

Michele Rayner-Goolsby, who represented McGlockton's parents, said before the conviction that the outcome of the case would be closely followed because of how it affects race – Drejka is white and McGlockton was black – as well as how law enforcement is treating people of color because it took 25 days before any charges were brought against Drejka.

Drejka attorneys have said that race is not a problem, and that Drejka has confronted others about parking in a disabled place regardless of background.

In 2005, Florida became the first state to adopt a "stand your ground" law, which states that a citizen facing a threat or perceived threat does not have a duty to flee the scene and can use deadly force if they are scared because they are subjected to bodily harm.

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