Judge Joseph Bulone ruled that an expert witness in the Michael Drejka manslaughter trial will be allowed to testify, but his testimony will be limited.
Bulone made that ruling at the final pretrial hearing prior to the trial that begins on Monday morning.
Drejka shot and killed Marquis McGlockton in the parking lot of a Circle A convenience store in Clearwater in July of 2018. The shooting stemmed from an argument over a handicapped parking spot.
One of Drejka’s defense attorneys, Theresa N Jean-Pierre Coy, told the judge they needed this expert witness to explain to the jurors why this was a case of self defense.
“This is going to be a big part of the trial for us the Mr. McGlockton wasn’t retreating,” Jean-Pierre Coy said. “So we need that expert which is why we had to find an expert at the last minute to talk about that blading term because we weren’t able to get Sheriff Gualtieri. “
Prosecutor Fred Schaub questioned how much of an expert the defense expert witness really is.
“This is merely an expert,” Schaub said. “And we’re not saying Mr. Brown is not an expert. It would be the first time he’s been qualified as an expert. So, is he a good expert? That’s going to be a determination for the jury to make. However, what we are saying is there are certain things just because you’re an expert… There are certain things an expert cannot talk about. “
The judge ruled the defense expert can talk about terminology and self defense cases in general, but can not analyze the surveillance video of this particular shooting and give his opinion.
Drejka is facing a manslaughter charge.
Jury selection in the case is scheduled to begin first thing on Monday morning at the Pinellas County Judicial Complex.
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