CLEARWATER, Fla. -- A judge on Friday granted a motion to remove Lysa Clifton as one of Michael Drejka's three defense attorneys.
According to the affidavit from Oct. 15, Drejka said he received "an unsolicited personal visit by Clifton" after his first appearance in court on Aug. 14.
Drejka said in the affidavit that he had never met or spoken to Clifton or anyone on her behalf before her visit at the jail.
During the visit, Drejka said Clifton asked him if he wanted her to become his attorney. Drejka agreed but said he didn't know that solicitation of a client could be a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
In the affidavit, Drejka also said he repeatedly asked Clifton to withdraw from representing him, but she refused.
Drejka’s affidavit formally requests the removal of Clifton from representing him and prohibits Clifton from communicating on his behalf.
Clifton filed paperwork to step away from the case. She cited "irreconcilable differences" as her reason for leaving and said she would no longer talk about the case.
The Florida Bar had already opened a solicitation investigation into Clifton.
Prosecutors were initially worried because they sent discovery materials to Clifton, but defense attorney John Trevena confirmed in court that he and co-counsel Bryant Camareno have since received the evidence they need to build their case.
Drejka is charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of Markeis McGlockton.
Friends and relatives of McGlockton were in court Friday, but they did not speak.
The Clearwater shooting sparked an ongoing national debate over Florida’s “stand your ground” law.
Drejka shot and killed McGlockton after the two got into an argument over a parking space outside the Circle A convenience store.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri didn’t initially arrest Drejka, citing the “stand your ground” law.
The case went to the State Attorney’s office, who decided on Aug. 13 to charge Drejka with manslaughter.
The judge has scheduled the next pre-trial hearing for 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 14.
►Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the 10News app now.