A white Florida man who told detectives he had a "pet" for illegal parking in a disabled location was convicted Friday of murder for fatally shooting an unarmed black man in front of a convenience store.
Six jurors were deliberated for six hours before Michael Drake was sentenced on July 19, 2018 for the death of Marquis McGloon. Drake, who could have turned 30, looked down after the sentence had been read, then wiped his brow with a blue towel. Drake, 49, was sentenced to be held without bond until his sentence in October. He looked straight ahead while handcuffed and led out of the courtroom.
The verdict came about half an hour after the jurors sent a note saying they were confused by the state's self-defense law. Judge Judge Joseph Bulone told them that all he could do was read it for them.
In principle, the long statute says that firing is justified if a reasonable person in these circumstances believes that there is a risk of death or serious injury. But it is also said that the shooter could not stir up a dispute.
The members of the McGlotton family cried when the sentence was read and embraced and shook hands with prosecutors after the court adjourned.
"This sentence does not carry our son back, but it does give us some sense of justice, because too often the criminal justice system fails us, allowing people who take the lives of unarmed black people to go free, as if their lives mean nothing, "McGlocton's mother, Monica Robinson, said in a statement." We hope that this conviction will be a brick in the way to changing the culture of racism here in Florida. "
Teresa Jean- Pierre Koy, one of Drake's attorneys, told a reporter outside the court that she respects the sentence, but her team is likely to file a complaint. She expressed her condolences to the McGlocton family and said that while she was disappointed with the sentence, she was "happy to have received the justice they seek."
Drake ran into McGlocton's girlfriend, Brittany Jacobs, for parking in a difficult space while McGlockton walked into a convenience store with her 5-year-old son. The security video was recorded by MacLacton leaving the store and throwing Drake to the ground. Seconds later, Drake pulled out a gun and shot the 28-year-old MacLacton as he pulled away. McGlocton ran inside the store where he crashed and died in front of his son.
The video was replayed repeatedly by a jury of five men and a woman.
Drake did not testify on his behalf, although jurors released video from his interview with detectives. Drake had a concealed weapons permit for 25 years and told detectives that he "always" carried his gun.
Drake told detectives that he had a "pet" for illegal parking in a wheelchair, and often used to go around such cars, looking for disabled stickers and signs, sometimes taking pictures. He said he often sees people illegally parked at a disabled location in that store, but the owner does nothing about it.
Drake said he saw McClacton's car in a wheelchair in July 2018, so he went to her back and forth looking for stickers that store security videos. He said the car windows were darkened so he did not know that anyone was inside. Jacobs, who was sitting with the couple's two younger children, partially put her window down and asked what she was doing. He said he had told her it was "not very polite" to park on the spot and "she took that as an attack." He said he caused a heated argument, with Jacobs saying, "Should I take my husband?"
Jacobs testified that Drake started pointing and yelling at her. She said she cracked the window to hear what she was saying and a screaming match appeared.
Prosecutor Scott Rosenwasser said during closing arguments earlier Friday that Drake had provoked McGlocton to bump him by shouting at Jacobs instead of calling the police if he felt so categorical about being parked on a place for the disabled. Witness testimony showed he had collided with a septic truck driver in the same parking lot months earlier, leading to a dispute.
"He's a vigilante in the parking lot," Rosenwasser said.
Attorney John Trevena told the jurors such comments were ridiculous. Drake retired in the 1930s because of her tree cutting due to health issues.
"Is it similar to Charles Bronson in Death Wish?" before shooting.