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The Latest: Florida man convicted in parking lot shooting

August 24, 2019
FILE - In a Aug. 23, 2018 file photo, Michael Drejka sits in court during a bond hearing at the Pinellas County Justice Center in Clearwater, Fla. Drejka, who fatally shot an unarmed black man during a dispute over a handicapped parking space, told detectives he fired because he had been pushed to the ground and he feared the man was about to "finish" what he started, video played at his trial Thursday, August 22, 2019 shows.(Jim Damaske/Tampa Bay Times via AP, File)
FILE - In a Aug. 23, 2018 file photo, Michael Drejka sits in court during a bond hearing at the Pinellas County Justice Center in Clearwater, Fla. Drejka, who fatally shot an unarmed black man during a dispute over a handicapped parking space, told detectives he fired because he had been pushed to the ground and he feared the man was about to "finish" what he started, video played at his trial Thursday, August 22, 2019 shows.(Jim Damaske/Tampa Bay Times via AP, File)

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the fatal shooting over a parking spot in Florida (all times local):

10:45 p.m.

A Florida jury has convicted a white man of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man in a dispute over a handicapped parking spot.

The jury of five men and a woman deliberated for more than six hours Friday before convicting Michael Drejka. He faces up to 30 years in prison.

He was charged with the July 2018 death of Markeis McGlockton.

Drejka had confronted McGlockton’s girlfriend for parking in a handicapped space while McGlockton went into a convenience store. Security video recorded McGlockton leaving the store and shoving Drejka to the ground. Seconds later, Drejka pulled out a handgun and shot the 28-year-old McGlockton as he backed away. McGlockton ran inside the store, where he collapsed and died.

Drejka told the detectives he has a “pet peeve” about illegal parking in handicapped spots.

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10:10 p.m.

The jury sent a confusing note to the judge in the manslaughter trial of a white Florida man charged with fatally shooting an unarmed black man after being shoved during a parking lot altercation.

Circuit Judge Joseph Bulone asked the six-member panel trying Michael Drejka for the July 2018 shooting of Markeis McGlockton what they meant when they sent a note to him late Friday that restated portions of Florida’s self-defense law.

They said they were having difficulties understanding the law. Bulone reread them the lengthy statute, which generally says Drejka could shoot McGlockton if a reasonable person under the same circumstances would believe he is in imminent danger of death or great bodily injury.

The jury had deliberated past 10 p.m., six hours after they received the case.

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9:15 p.m.

Jurors deliberated late into the night as they decided the fate of a white Florida man charged with fatally shooting an unarmed black man after being shoved during a parking lot altercation.

The six-member panel remained in the Clearwater courthouse past 9 p.m. Friday as they debated whether Michael Drejka is guilty of manslaughter for the July 2018 death of 28-year-old Markeis McGlockton.

Prosecutors say Drejka provoked the confrontation by arguing with McGlockton’s girlfriend because she was parked in a handicapped-accessible parking spot and had no reason to fire because McGlockton was backing away.

Drejka’s attorneys say McGlockton provoked the shooting by pushing their client to the ground, making him fear he was about to be severely injured or killed.

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4:25 p.m.

Jurors are deliberating the fate of a white Florida man charged with fatally shooting an unarmed black man after being shoved during a parking lot altercation.

The six-member panel in Clearwater began discussions late Friday afternoon on whether Michael Drejka is guilty of manslaughter for the July 2018 death of 28-year-old Markeis McGlockton.

Prosecutors say Drejka provoked the confrontation by arguing with McGlockton’s girlfriend because she was parked in a handicapped-accessible parking spot and had no reason to fire because McGlockton was backing away.

Drejka’s attorneys say McGlockton provoked the shooting by pushing their client to the ground, making him fear he was about to be severely injured or killed.

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3:20 p.m.

A defense attorney for a white Florida man on trial for fatally shooting an unarmed black man after being shoved during a parking lot altercation said in closing arguments that the victim caused his own death.

Michael Drejka’s defense attorney said Friday that Markeis McGlockton caused his own death by shoving the defendant and that Drejka was only protecting himself by firing his gun.

Drejka fatally shot the 28-year-old McGlockton in July 2018. In video shown to the jury, Drejka told detectives that after McGlockton pushed him, he feared he was about to be further attacked and severely injured.

Prosecutors argue that Drejka started the altercation by confronting McGlockton’s girlfriend because she was parked with her children in the handicapped space. They also say he had no reason to fire as McGlockton was retreating.

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12:50 p.m.

A prosecutor told jurors the white man who fatally shot an unarmed black man after being shoved to the ground is a “vigilante” who carried a handgun because he liked provoking confrontations.

Prosecutor Scott Rosenwasser told jurors during closing arguments Friday in Clearwater, Florida, that Michael Drejka provoked Markeis McGlockton to shove him by yelling at McGlockton’s girlfriend because she was parked in a handicapped-assessable space and then fired as the 28-year-old McGlockton started to flee.

Rosenwasser said the 49-year-old Drejka is guilty of manslaughter because he had no reasonable belief that he was about to be seriously injured or killed during the July 2018 altercation.

In video shown to the jury, Drejka told detectives that after McGlockton pushed him, he feared he was about to be further attacked and severely injured.

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10:50 a.m.

The Florida man on trial for fatally shooting an unarmed black man after being shoved to the ground during a parking lot altercation will not testify on his own behalf.

Michael Drejka told the court Friday in Clearwater, Florida, that he won’t testify at his manslaughter trial, which is rapidly moving to its conclusion.

Drejka, who is white, fatally shot 28-year-old Markeis McGlockton in July 2018. In video shown to the jury, Drejka told detectives that after McGlockton pushed him, he feared he was about to be further attacked and severely injured.

Prosecutors argue that Drejka started the altercation by confronting McGlockton’s girlfriend because she was parked in the handicapped space. They also say he had no reason to fire as McGlockton was retreating.

Closing arguments are expected later Friday.

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