CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – Jury selection in the Michael Drejka manslaughter case will resume first thing on Tuesday morning.
The judge and attorneys on both sides dismissed a number of potential jurors and told the remaining men and women to come back tomorrow.
Drejka shot and killed Markeis McGlockton in 2018 in Clearwater after an argument over a handicap parking spot. Much of the trial will hinge on surveillance video of the deadly encounter. Attorneys will argue – does it show a clear case of self-defense or manslaughter?
The shooting happened at the Circle A Convenience store in July of last year. McGlockton pushed Drejka to the ground and then Drejka shot him. McGlockton later died.
Roger Futerman, an attorney not affiliated with the case believes the video will be the key piece of evidence in this case. “The video is the case. It’s the interpretation of the video. The whole question is, did he have the right to go to the extent that he did,” said Futerman. “Did he have the right to aim. Did he have the right to shoot?”
During jury selection, Judge Joseph Bulone questioned the potential jurors if they had heard of the case. At one point, he asked how many people read the paper? “Let me ask first, who actually subscribes to the Tampa Bay Times? Please raise your hand,” instructed Judge Bulone. “Not a whole lot of people.”
The judge also instructed the jury pool that if they are selected, they are not to communicate with others while the trial is underway.
“Do not set up a blog about the case until you’ve actually reached a verdict and then if you want to set up a blog you can. Don’t set up a web site about the case until you’ve reached a verdict,” said Judge Bulone. “Do not tweet about the case. Do not text about the case. Do not email about the case. Do not instant message about the case.”
The judge believes they will have a jury selected on Tuesday and hopes to have opening statements in the case on Wednesday morning.
Drejka could face up to 15 years if he is convicted on the manslaughter charge. The trial is expected to last two weeks.