PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The family of Markeis McGlockton says the jury got it right this time in the case against the man who shot and killed the young father. The jury found Michael Drejka guilty of manslaughter.
“I couldn’t be more happy,” said Brittany Jacobs, the girlfriend of Markeis McGlockton.
Jacobs stands grateful at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church. Friday night a jury found Drejka guilty of manslaughter in the shooting of McGlockton.
“I went home and I woke up little Markeis, I told him we got justice for daddy. He said mommy, that’s good,” said Jacobs.
She stood alongside the victim’s father as they shared their thoughts on the weeklong trial.
“It was amazing to see the support from the community. Just come to our aide and pretty much lift us up and they got us on the path that we needed to go,” says Michael McGlockton.
The defense fought to convince jurors that Drejka was acting in self-defense in July of 2018 outside the Circle A food store in Clearwater. The jury took six hours to decide against that argument.
It’s not over yet though. There’s still the sentencing hearing in October.
“You’re going to be able to hear from Mike, and Monica, and Brittany and other people who are close to Markeis as to why Michael Drejka needs to get the maximum sentence of 30 years,” said Michele Rayner-Goolsby.
For now, Markeis’ children will know what their father did for them.
“I’ll tell my children, I stress this to them. Your daddy did what anyone else would have done and he fought for us. He stood up for us,” Jacobs said.
The case got national attention in July 2018 when a video surfaced showing an argument between Drejka and McGlockton turn violent, even showing Drejka shoot McGlockton after he was shoved to the ground. At first, the Pinellas County Sheriff refused to arrest Drejka stating the shooter stood his ground.
“You all have to remember. They were not going to arrest the killer of Marquis McGlockton. Standing up together and unity saying that American that we demand due process, we demand equal justice,” said Benjamin Crump, one of the family attorney’s.
Although Stand Your Ground was never used by the defense in this trial, the family argues the controversial law is racist.
“It would have said it was okay to kill unarmed black or brown people when you are the initial aggressor. Then you shoot someone and fear for my life. Thank God for this verdict. Justice is possible,” Crump said.
“I’m happy, I’m thankful. And for the verdict, they did good. They did good, and I’m glad they see the truth,” Jacobs said.
Michael Drejka will remain in the Pinellas County Jail and held without bond until he is sentenced. That is scheduled to take place Oct. 10 at 10:30 a.m.