Trial started today in the manslaughter case against Michael Drejka, who shot a man in Clearwater in a dispute over a handicapped parking spot. The entire incident was caught on dramatic surveillance video, which will be played for the jury. Inescapable is the fact that Drejka is white and the victim, Markeis McGlockton, a father of four, is a black man. Further complicating the case, the Defendant got in a dispute with another black man over the same handicapped spot a few weeks earlier and shouted a racial slur at him. The judge has ruled, due to the similarity of the incidents, that the prosecution will get to tell the jury about the prior incident, but not the racial slur he allegedly used.
Drejka is arguing that he was justified in his use of force under the stand your ground law. the stand your ground law provides there is no duty to retreat, but it still requires there be a reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm before deadly force is justified. Based on the video, Drejka has a challenging defense. Jury selection in the case will continue tomorrow.
Authorities in Clearwater got a tip that a Pinellas County inmate, Scott Lambert, was trying to dig out of his jail cell. When they searched, they found that he had in fact started a hole under his bunk, though it was only 6 inches wide and 1.5 inches deep. He was quite a way from Shawshanking out of there like Andy Dufresne.
Two (of course these stories have to come from) Florida residents have been arrested in the past week for domestic violence incidents involving food. Both actually stem from Pinellas County.
First, Daniel Plunkett of Treasure Island stands accused of throwing pizza at his roommate. Plunkett, for his part, says that he was actually the victim of the pizza throwing, and the officers did note pizza sauce on his clothing. Unfortunately for him, he is being held without bond as this charge violates his probation.
Meanwhile, just a few days later, Clearwater resident Rykihia Moore was charged with striking her boyfriend with a hamburger she threw. She was up front, admitting to deputies that she did throw the burger and said, “it may have hit him.” Apparently the argument stemmed from concerns that she was being unfaithful.
To say the least, it’s been a busy week in the domestic violence division of Pinellas County, Fla.
Because this is Florida, between the time that I wrote this, and scheduled publication, there has already been another food battery, also with burgers. 19 year old Vero Beach man Tanner Wolf became irate at his father and chucked a McDonald’s bag at him. Wolf also admitted to his crime against family and food. (Thanks @_Floridaman)
Posted in Criminal Law, Florida
Tagged battery, clearwater, daniel plunkett, domestic, hamburger, pinellas, rykihia moore, tanner wolf, treasure island, vero beach, weirdbattery