TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — An appeals court on Wednesday upheld the conviction and prison sentence for a Pinellas County man convicted of shooting and killing a man in a dispute over a handicap parking space.

A panel of three appellate court judges ruled Wednesday that there was sufficient evidence to convict Michael Drejka in the fatal 2018 shooting of Markeis McGlockton.

Drejka argued he acted in self-defense when he killed McGlockton in July 2018.

According to the ruling, Drejka had confronted McGlockton’s girlfriend, Brittany Jacobs for being parked in a handicap space while McGlockton and his 5-year-old son were in a convenience store in Clearwater. Witnesses said they were concerned for Jacobs’ safety because Drejka ” was shouting very loud” and behaving “in a threatening manner towards the car, pointing at the car, yelling, screaming.”

A witness told the clerk what had happened, and McGlockton left the store and confronted Drejka.

“Get away from my girl,” he told Drejka, before shoving him to the ground, court documents said.

The ruling said McGlockton made no further advancements or threats, but Drejka drew a gun and pulled the trigger. A bullet pierced his heart and he stumbled back into the store and died next to his son.

Witnesses said Drejka did not appears to be disoriented or in pain after the shooting, and walked “calmly” back to his car.

Drejka had initially invoked Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law, telling detectives he was in fear for his life and acted in self-defense. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said the law prevented him from arresting Drejka, but prosecutors charged him with manslaughter about three weeks later. He was convicted in Feb. 2019 and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Later, Drejka’s attorneys filed an appeal, raising a number of issus and asking for his conviction to be overturned. They argued prosecutors made “several objectionable comments” during closing arguments and that the trial court erroneously denied Drejka’s JOA (judgment of acquittal) motion. They also said a juror should have been removed for having a relationship with the NAACP.

“This was particularly worrisome, because the case was racially charged,” his lawyers said.

Drejka is white, and McGlockton was black.

But judges upheld the conviction, saying the evidence proved he was guilty.

“The surveillance video, coupled with the eyewitness testimony that Mr. McGlockton was retreating, were sufficient to defeat Mr. Drejka’s JOA (judgment of acquittal) motion,” the panel wrote in the ruling. “The jury, not the trial judge, had to resolve whether Mr. Drejka acted in self-defense.”

“Our record is devoid of any juror misconduct,” the ruling said. “As the trial court’s interview with the juror revealed, the juror did not know that the individual (from the NAACP) that approached him was observing the trial in an overflow courtroom. Importantly, the two did not discuss the case at all. Certainly, then, the juror did not violate any court order.”