Three private lawyers will represent the man charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of a father during an argument over a parking spot outside a Clearwater convenience store.
Michael Drejka, 48, is accused of fatally shooting Markeis McGlockton, 28, on July 19 after McGlockton shoved him to the ground for confronting his girlfriend about parking in a spot for people with disabilities at the Circle A convenience store.
McGlockton died at the hospital 30 minutes later.
On Tuesday, a judge appointed a public defender to represent Drejka in the case. But, on Wednesday, a coalition of attorneys announced they would take the case, which has reignited a vigorous debate over Florida’s “stand your ground” law.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri declined to arrest Drejka, at first, citing the law. The State Attorney’s Office later determined there was enough evidence to support an arrest and manslaughter charge.
A court official confirmed lawyers Lysa Clifton, Bryant Camareno and John Trevena on Wednesday filed their notice to appear on Drejka’s behalf. However, they have not yet decided if they will try to get a judge to approve “stand your ground” as Drejka’s defense.
“This is going to be a very complex case, as we already know – legally and factually, and I think that there’s going to be a significant amount of time to adequately prepare a case like this,” Trevena said. “So, please be patient with us as we develop the defenses in the case.”
Camareno said the legal defense team is not advocating for the “stand your ground” law nor trying to change it. He said they were retained to prepare a legal defense for Drejka – not get into politics.
“We’re not going to make this political,” Camareno said. “We’re not going to accept money from people, organizations…we’re not going to accept any outside influence.”
Clifton was the first lawyer to announce she would defend Drejka. She has been a member of the Florida bar since 2012. The majority of cases she has handled have been for DUI or other traffic infractions. When it comes to her social media accounts, she calls herself the lawyer with the most selfies.
Camareno has more experience. He has been a member of the Florida bar since 1995. And, according to his website, he has more than 20 years of criminal justice experience. He is a former state and federal prosecutor. Camareno has covered domestic and felony cases. Some of those felony cases have been for defendants who were facing manslaughter charges.
Trevena is the most prominent of the three attorneys. He has been a board-certified criminal lawyer since 1992. He has also covered a lot of domestic violence and felony cases. In the most recent high-profile case, he represented the family of the man killed by a largo police officer back in March at a Wawa gas station.
When asked if she would take the case pro bono during a press conference, Clifton said she expected to be paid for the case.
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